ICC news

ICC mulls two-tier Test cricket

Daniel Brettig

January 15, 2014

Comments: 353 | Text size: A | A
Dravid: In principle, two-tier Test system a good idea

World cricket's custodians are to consider a revolutionary proposal to bring relegation and promotion to Test matches as a partial sop to the imminent death of the World Test Championship (WTC).

The ICC executive board is expected to consider the proposal at the next round of meetings later this month, the same gathering expected to end any hopes for the WTC due to the reluctance of broadcasters and the lack of certainty around the format of an event that was postponed from its original 2013 launch date and re-launched for 2017 last October.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the board will instead entertain the promotion/relegation plan, which will open up the possibility of nations like Ireland and Afghanistan earning their way into Test matches while at the same time placing the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on the precipice. It will be introduced on the "no disadvantage" condition that none of the current ICC Full Member nations would lose that status and its financial advantages.

Brettig: Ireland, Afghanistan could benefit from relegation-based system

Instead, the Associate nations will have the chance to press for spots at the Test match table on the basis of performance against the lower-ranked Full Members. This would provide a strong incentive for nations currently playing Test matches to improve themselves while also offering opportunities for Associates to compete at the highest level of the game.

Precise details of how promotion and relegation from Test cricket would work in practice are yet to be revealed, but the concept of play-offs for Test status every four years is believed to be one of the options under consideration. The idea of dividing Test cricket up into two tiers has been debated for some time, with various noted voices on the game expressing opinions on its merits.

In 2013, the former England captain Michael Vaughan suggested that the incentives provided by promotion and relegation would also add context and value to Test cricket, perhaps to the point of dissuading some players from fringe nations prioritising the IPL over representing their country at that time of year.

Bangladesh celebrate the dismissal of Ross Taylor, 2nd Test, 3rd day, Mirpur, October 23, 2013
The division of Test cricket into two tiers could put teams like Bangladesh on the precipice © AFP

"Just imagine if New Zealand have to come to England and win one out of three Tests to stay in the first division or win promotion," Vaughan wrote in the Telegraph. "If there is a proper financial incentive to playing in the first division, like there is in football's Premier League, then players would be less likely to choose the IPL instead."

In addition to promotion and relegation, the ICC is expected to consider increasing the financial rewards on offer to teams earning the No. 1 spot on the Test rankings, for which the Test Championship Mace is currently awarded on an annual basis.

There have been an increasing number of diversions from the Future Tours Programme, as nations make bilateral agreements that flout the authority of officially agreed schedule. India recently reduced their tour of South Africa to the minimum two Test matches while adding two unscheduled home fixtures against the West Indies, while this week it was confirmed that Pakistan's series against Australia in October would be downsized from the earlier agreed three Tests to two.

The ICC has previously flagged that promotion and relegation will become part of the landscape for ODIs, coming into effect following the 2019 World Cup.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by anton_ego on (January 22, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

It would be an amazing idea if this 2-tier system is used for positive intent. Its like a win-all situation. But some tweaking must be done. A solution would be to use the A-teams of the top 4 countries to play regularly with the bottom 4 countries. For example, so many quality players from India, Australia, England and South Africa hardly play any international Test cricket. Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Phil Hughes, Ed Cowan, Starc, Ashwell Prince, De Kock, Onions, Finn and Morgan to name a few. Whilst not in national duty, why not they play with the bottom four nations? Make it a 3-tier system instead, with the middle tier competing to break into the top tier by playing regular Test cricket and the bottom tier competing to break into middle tier by playing with the A-teams of the top tier. Its a viable solution.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 20:42 GMT)

woow perfect desion by icc to give chance for asossiat member a test chance this is spirt of the game

Posted by black_bird on (January 20, 2014, 7:16 GMT)

What happen to big 3's when they tour outside of their own backyard?.india lost straight 9 tests, luckily escaped at saf. and engand. Boys do you still not ashamed after losing 5-0?. and australia, you lost every test at india.what makes you big team by winning a home series?.In that sense, all teams should be relegated. and will play equal number of tests home and away.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 19, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

@flickspin, surely even you must acknowledge that all those countries virtually playing and being housed by their neighbours defeats the whole purpose of the international game.

This is all motivated by money. Rightfully India contribute the bulk of funds, they are entitled to a larger share, and now the ECB&CA realise there's no way of getting away from that but to restructure the game in order to retain a lot of revenue themselves.

Acceding to this plan essentially kills the game. You don't need a rocket scientist to tell you that. Hence I'm proposing we shrink the game because at the end of the day, this will accelerate the death of Test cricket(by 2017). Kids won't want to pursue a sport to be second class citizens at international level, and we will all get tired of watching just a few side play Test cricket.

So restrict it to open professional leagues, and just turn up to camp for internationals when called up! Admit it only T20&ODIs will be relevant! Might as well do it now!

Posted by lankantone on (January 19, 2014, 10:46 GMT)

If there is 2 tier test cricket there should be equal chance to every team to promote as well as demote. there should not any permanent members in tier 1. otherwise keep cricket as it is. cricket is not a private property of anybody. it is a wealth of 7 billion people live on the earth.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 1:47 GMT)

in order to bring the associates into world class level, they can simply be given test status, FTP will ensure that they play at least 4 matches per year. so, why is there any need for a two tier system, which is unarguably going to discourage the developing test sides that would be unfairly catagorized in the 2nd division?

Posted by Talalthegreat on (January 18, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

Well, two divisions is good. Mostly cuz it gives chance to Ireland and afg. It should be division 1: SA, Aus, Ind, Eng and Pakistan. Division 2: WI, NZ, SL, Bangladezh and zim. There should be first class games for ireland and Afg against zim and bang. Then both should be added to test cricket and it should be. Division 1: SA, Aus, Ind, Eng, Pak and SL. Division 2: WI, NZ, Bang, Zim, Ire, and Afg. If any team from div. 2 performs better and gets ahead in point system than a div. 1 team, they get promoted.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

I do believe expanding the Test match format to associative nations is the way forward. It's currently unfair for nations like Ireland who have improved over the years, to have players go and play for England in the pursuit of playing world class cricket more often.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

Australia beating England 5-0 in ashes. that should be enough for their relegation, right? Or there is no way they can be relegated? Nice thinking ICC.

Posted by Hawkiball on (January 18, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

I grew up on cricket in the 1990s in India, realising that Asian teams were given second-class treatment as far as overseas Tests were concerned. For example, after the 1991-92 Indian tour of Australia, the next such Test series took place after eight years. Similarly, the Ashes or Aus-WI Tests were five-match series, whereas Sri Lanka would be lucky to get one or two Tests! India had to be thankful for a three-Test series. I suppose this two-tier format is only formalising such arrangements founded on the ease between a few national boards. It was always like this. Instead if boards think of quality of cricket as the criterion, then they'll do well to note that there is a gifted Ross Taylor from New Zealand, a Darren Bravo from West Indies, a Junaid Khan from Pakistan. Don't exile them with such a system: teams go through dips, and form is temporary. There has never been a sense of equity in cricket administration, so I doubt if anybody will now care in the T20 Era.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 5:45 GMT)

They want two tier system yet so many of the tests between top four have been one sided and boring.

Posted by flickspin on (January 18, 2014, 3:14 GMT)

zcf outcast

about funding firstclass cricket

thier are geographic hotspot were crickets played, where every country has a first class when they could join and have a super first class system.

new zealand can have 2 teams in the australian domestic comp, north island and south island,

with european nations they can join the English county comp, give holland 2 teams( amsterdam & rotterdam) give scotland 2 teams( glasgow & edinburgh) and ireland 3 teams( cork, belfast & dublin{ morgan just smashed a centery yesterday})i would add 3 teams to division 1 and 4 teams to division 2

this way scotland,ireland holland play at a world class competition

i would give zimbabwe 3 teams in the south african domestic comp( harare, bulawayo & mutare) plus namibia.

now the first class funding issue is fixed

it up to india to look after its neighbors in asia, its up to them to help nations like nepal maybe let them tour india

its up to pakistan to help afghanistan by letting tour pakistan

Posted by sysubrceq0 on (January 17, 2014, 21:30 GMT)

I am against the two-tier system but one advantage is i dont need to watch India to play umpteen times with SL if the both countries doesn't fall in same division.

Posted by sysubrceq0 on (January 17, 2014, 21:16 GMT)

@Islamic - can you come out of your well and see the world? 1. India shortened the tour cos problem with SAF board (only 1 test missed), SL cancelled the 3 test series with SAF at home to play SLPL (which is cancelled though). Every country does it, Aus - PAK series shortened to 2 tests just one week back. 2. PAK not playing at home for obvious reasons - no country trust the security in PAK to visit. 3. India played in SAF, ENG, WI, AUS in 2011, NZ, ENG, WI & AUS visited IND in 2012 and 2013 & IND is playing in SAF(2013), NZ, ENG, AUS in 2014... can you tell me where is India played alot at home over 4 - year period? Dont rub everything on India for your administrators incompetencies.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

I believe every Nation should play 4 series per year - 2 home and 2 away. Tours should be no longer than one month. 3 tests, 3 one dayers and a single T20 (or 5 one dayers and no T20). One of these tours (either home or away) must involve England, Australia or India - thus playing over a 6 year period - teams will play these three teams each home and away over this period.

There can also be a "World Cup" or International Tournament every year either of T20 or One Day level....and an all star series. Take the top 10 batsman, top 2 keepers, top 10 bowlers in each level (Test, One dayers, T20)....and spread them evenly in 2 teams. Make it Charity based too.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 15:59 GMT)

While I'm all for Ireland being promoted to test status within the next few years, other than Afghanistan (who'll of course have to play their games in the UAE for the foreseeable future) and maybe Nepal, is there really either a) the desire or b) the fan following and 'cricket culture' amongst any of the other leading associates to play test cricket one day? It would be a great shame for England to lose series against the likes of West Indies or New Zealand, or even Bangladesh for that matter when they're just starting to become a competitive test side. Better that the ICC enforce a binding FTP where every test nation must play each other at home and away over 5 years, with each series being a minimum of 3 tests. The Ashes would stay as a 4 yearly series in each country. If Zimbabwe continue to be a cricketing basket case then revoke their test status and let Ireland take their place. Forget about a second division but add Afghanistan as a 12th test nation within the next 5 years.

Posted by ThinkingCricket on (January 17, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

Personally, I prefer ODI's and T-20's to Tests. I am a huge cricket fan and analyst and maintain ratings (for private use) across formats (including Franchise, Club and Domestic Cricket). I follow almost every major game and plenty that many here wouldn't consider major. I enjoy all forms of cricket, but to me Test Cricket has LESS strategy and less difficult decisions. Batsmen don't have to compromise between playing themselves in and scoring fast, captains don't have to decide between various bowlers. Every batsman will get to bat (no ammo in the shed problems here unlike T-20 and ODI).

I feel a little hurt by the proliferation and featuring of comments that imply I am uneducated, illiterate or inferior because I prefer short-form cricket. Disanalogous comparisons with "good literature vs bestsellers" are bad enough, but I don't understand the hostility towards us. I understand that you guys love Tests, but is it really necessary to brand anyone who doesn't agree with you inferior?

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 15:16 GMT)

Lool this idea is worthless given that teams under the rank of 6 barely play enough tests and PROSper year. Bangladesh has so. less amount of matches and same goes for WI,NZ,Zim etc. This would be totally worthless them. also cricket ain't football so don't adopt any football system. that's another waste thing

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

every country should play same number of test matches against each opposition in a calendar year, thats only justify it. plus i like relegation system, so top 2 will go to diff league and bottom two from that group should be relegated

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

But - the West Indies have not played anyone in Tests but Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe for more than two years now, and if they play anyone else it's in two match rubbers as they did with India last year. ??????????

Posted by flickspin on (January 17, 2014, 9:10 GMT)

yorkshire pudding

i agree that the 2 tier system is a bad idea,

with a team of the decade, you can add more test teams not less,

with traditional series like the ashes you can play every 3 years instead every 2, the border gavaskar you can play every 3 years.

trophies like the frank worrell trophy would be obsolete, and the chappell hadlee trophy would be obsolete with the 2 tier system.

with the team of the decade, more games can be played against the minnows, the majority of thier games would be amongst each other, australia might play bangladesh twice in 10years, but bangladesh might play ireland 3 times.

zimbabwe might play australia twice but play holland 3 times.

australia might play england 3 times and only play afghanistan once

kenya might play new zealand 3 times but only play south africa once.

over a decade world cricket boom, with test matches being shown on tv, were young kids in the minnow nations can watch thier local hero's on tv morgan just smashed a 100 today

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 17, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

It's a good thing they are merely "mulling" over it at this stage. Hopefully common sense prevails & international sport is not relegated to tiers! It's bad enough that we have distinct Full Members, Assosciates, and Affiliates!

Just spread the game, set up funded non-quota restricted top leagues(Eng, Ind, SA, WI, AUS, UAE), perhaps 8 teams per league, where all the best players form any country are free to spend most of the time playing all form, but are called up for tours when their national teams have to play matches in windows.

Kill the Franchise/FC system, and limit it to club level(T20,50&2day), so Associations don't have to break the bank to remain relevant, or their country be able to play Test cricket. Interprovincial XI games can be organised (inc. 4/5 day) & national players can be chosen from there.

Cricket should be no different from rugby, football & Basketball. In truth only Ind, Eng&Aus can afford to have FC cricket leagues. Others can't do that sustainably!

Posted by flickspin on (January 17, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

yorkshire pudding

it doesn't what sport you play certain teams will get favorable draws.

soccer,tennis,rugby league, some teams will get to play the top 6 teams twice, whilst others only play the top 6 sides only once.

hopefully over 10 years each team has roughly played a even number of games.

most cricket boards organize tours between 1-3 years ahead, the icc would need to plan the team of the decade 10 years ahead.

i dont know how to give points maybe, 5 points for a outright win,4 points for a innings win, 3 points for a win, 2 points for draw.1 point for a loss but it last 5 days with 2 innings

bonus points if a team last 5 days or scores 500 runs, bonus points for beating teams in 3 or 4 days

and bonus for winning a series, and extra bonus points for winning a series away from home.

it doesent reward a hard fought draw, but encourages attacking winning cricket.

say team 1 plays 85 test, team 2 80 test, team 3 90 test you could work on avaerages, to decide the winner

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 17, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

@Phil Newbold, great but what happens to the culturally significant series like the ashes, if the teams are in differnt divisions. In england we have seen the death nell of the Roses match as Lancs and Yorks have rarely been in the same divisions, is this the way the Ashes should go? Then what about the India vs Pakistan series, which I should had hasnt been played for many years, but many fans I've spoken to on both sides miss the competition and the added 'angst' it brings.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

Is this not the proverbial 'drowning man grasping at a straw'? It seems to me - based on the trend - that the further we go into the future, the more test cricket will become a thing of the past. Why try to turn back the hands of time? Test cricket is going the way of the dodo bird, and very little can be done about it - it seems to me!

Posted by Boonee on (January 17, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

@ Cricket Froth People love to bag T20 cricket, but to me that just smacks of insecurity. T20 is just as valid a form of the game as Test cricket, it just exhibits different skills. While Test cricket is mainly about mental skills in patience and consistency, T20 is about innovation and more physical skills. Test cricket is the ultimate for you and for me but for others they enjoy the faster paced game, that's okay to each their own, but don't bag one just because you prefer the other.

Posted by lillee4PM on (January 17, 2014, 5:14 GMT)

Great idea, I've been banging on about this concept for ages and I'm sure others have too. Also, the ICC should force the top nations to play AT LEAST three tests per series; two is a waste of time. They should also force the gutless indians to play more away matches. A nation that never wins away from home does not deserve to be #2 in the world!

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

Two tier test cricket is a wonderful idea since the presently test cricket is losing its charm and the gate collection is on the lower ebb. To make it competetive, the test match could be converted into One Day cricket with two innings of 25 overs each as earlier Tendulkar put it

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 17, 2014, 3:25 GMT)

I love the fact that there are over 300 posts and most are for the benefit of cricket!.. real cricket lovers, whether or not they are right or wrong they have opinions on how to improve this great game, and I am sure these people watch all forms of cricket , and I hate the fact that there are people whose whole aim is to bad mouth and call for the eradication of one form because they do not like it. baseball lovers

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 3:02 GMT)

Here is an opportunity for Trinidad to go Solo and later Guyana to follow.

Posted by fr600 on (January 17, 2014, 1:58 GMT)

Make it more interesting: 3-Tier Test Cricket.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 1:35 GMT)

@Phil Newbold: what a wonderful idea. This would provide much more of an emphasis to test cricket if the need to win regularly is of heightened importance.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 0:54 GMT)

The ICC do not know what to do. They have displayed the lackof planning with the future tour plans. They have allowed India todoas it pleases while countries like Pakistan and Windies jave no say. Imagine a tour toAustralia toplay One days and that siping game of T 20 by the Windies and downsized a test toplay onedays. Yet England and Australia canplay 5 tests.

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 17, 2014, 0:43 GMT)

The point the naysayers against having changes made to the structure of test match cricket is at the moment it is not getting the interest and eyeballs when it should be. The matches are played for honour alone. This works for the top four nations fine, but the "new cricket" nations that do not really understand red ball cricket as they have a public too new to the game to "get cricket" we need to spice things up and take away what they thought was their supposed birthright.

When your nation is kicked down to the lower levels of the game and other more dedicated countries pass you. It might be time to develop your games and improve or you will be tossed out of the system as a punishment.

It will solve the problems we are now stuck with in Zimbabwe, West Indies and Bangladesh. These nations got into test cricket but their governing bodies are not about progressing the sport of cricket. They are about prestige for the board members. Taking away the privileges will sort that out.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 0:30 GMT)

What a crock. Sounds like a joke to me personally, just a way to get the big 4 nations to play amongst themselves. The big money in cricket is Eng, India, Aus and SA.... and guess who would be in the top 4 paying against themselves? Because we all know that white wash series dont happen amongst these teams. Oh wait a moment Ind vs Aus recently, Aus vs Eng last two ashes etc...

Lets just get rid of the small nations that dont generate the income that the big nation tours do.

Come on ICC... stop lying to everyone and just say the truth. Everyone can see through the BS that comes out of your PR department. Not all of us are stupid enough to believe what you say everytime you have a press release.

Posted by Bolt77 on (January 16, 2014, 23:16 GMT)

If the ICC are to implement this, they must ensure that teams play an equal number of home and away matches against ALL opponents within the given tier. Only this will be a true reflection.

Posted by kalyanbk on (January 16, 2014, 22:11 GMT)

Not a good idea. There are several countries where test cricket is not drawing crowds already. If they were relegated, they may lose interest in test cricket altogether. For example if Pakistan got relegated to play only low level test countries, it may face a real challenge in building test cricket back up. On the other hand the players of relegated countries may get a chance to boost their averages playing only against low level countries while high level countries may get their averages dented by constantly playing against tough teams. It is important that you get a chance to play both strong and weak teams to have balance.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 16, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

OK, for my 2 cents worth, here goes. Not really into tier system, players from New Zealand need to test themselves against top nations as well, it's the best way to improve. Zimbabwe & BD are probably the 2 countries we are most concerned with and the major problem both need to address is to offer up a viable first class system However, Ireland has the infrastructure in place where they can develop their FC system and should be competitive when the time comes given their involvement in the County system. BD, while being competitive in the shorter forms will always struggle in the long form & to date, have only been boosting career averages of bowlers and batsmen. This isn't good for test cricket, and neither are BD showing the improvement simply put down to their lack of FC infrastructure to develop long format capabilities. Same for Zimbabwe, although they appear to have started their development phase. Grassroots level needs ot be encouraged.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 22:00 GMT)

Not much meat on the bone of this thought bubble so far so I'll wait for full detail before reserving final judgement. But from what we know so far it appears unworkable from a financial standpoint.

A divisional system will create a club within a club, meaning lower ranked countries like NZ will be denied cash-cow series against India. Hardly "no disadvantage" You may as well write off test cricket in those countries. And what if England drops to the second division, what happens to the Ashes? You think it wouldn't happen, look at the once mighty West Indies.

Promotion and Relegation? How about just promotion of worthy teams without relegation. What good would it do Bangladesh having spent 15 years getting themselves competitive to drop out of test cricket, or Zimbabwe (current issues aside) they just beat Pakistan and the suggestion is they'd be dumped after a one loss against Ireland.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

Test Cricket is boring. The sponsors will invest and promote other games instead. ODI should be the primary recognized form of cricket, if at all cricket is to spread globally like soccer. Everyone who is a big fan of test cricket needs to stop living in the mid 1500s and be in the same step as other sports which is athletic and exciting. If you want something slow, there is golf.

Posted by Islamic on (January 16, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

At the moment teams are not playing, cricket boards are playing... like Indian board shortened saf tour due to their power. The boards like SL,PAK,WI,NZ infact SAF dont have any power or control. Pakistan not playing at home from years and india continuously playing at home in friendly conditions and boooooosting their records. While ignoring these things ICC can never form a sound system!!!

Posted by Dhutugemunu on (January 16, 2014, 19:36 GMT)

If this two tier concept is going to employ in future, all the records in the 2nd Tier category should not be considered as Test records (Should use a different name "Test2"). Otherwise the records will show an unrealistic picture of the teams capacity. For an example if you consider two weakest full member teams, BD and Zim have worst ODI records in terms of winning percentage; BD 29.30% and Zim 27.30%. They have played against tougher teams (Top 6 ODI nations) BD 49.30% and Zim 57.00%. The lower win % accounts for that reason. But if you take Afg and Ire, they have win% of 59.25 and 50.00 respectively. But those teams have not faced Top 6 ODI nations very often (Afg 7.41% and Ire 24.69%). If you face weaker opponent your record will be better. But in quality-wise. It's highly doubtful.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 19:00 GMT)

Here's my suggestion: 3 divisions of 4 teams playing on a 2 year cycle playing a series against each other team twice, home and away (this would include the top 2 Associate Nations). The length of a series could differ between divisions. Based on current rankings this would be: Division 1 - South Africa, India, Australia, England - 4 match series Division 2 - Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand - 3 match series Division 3 - Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland, Afghanistan - 2 match series Simplify the scoring to 3 point for a series win and 1 point for a draw, and "match score" would act like "goal difference" in football. e.g. Australia 5 England 0 … not a good away result :) At the end of each 2 year cycle there would be a straightforward champions (and big cash prizes for players), promotions and demotions. Also it would be easy to expand the system for additional Divisions, and you could apply the same to ODI & T20 based on 4 divisions of 4 teams.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (January 16, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

Introducing 2 tier system may b a good idea. But if it prevents weaker teams to play against team like Aus, SA, Ind etc, it'll bring no benefit for them. For the development of the game, weaker sides like NZ, WI, BD, Zim should b allowed to play against top teams. I think instead of introducing a division system like English County or European Football leagues, ICC can introduce a category system. Ire & Afg should b awarded test status before that. Category A may comprise of top 6 test teams & category B will include next 6 teams (including Ire & Afg). A category-A team will play against a category-B team at least once in every 4 years. The series will feature 2 test matches. All the Category A teams will play against each other once in every 2 years. Series will b minimum of 3 test matches. Same rule can b introduced for all Category B teams. The 5th & 6th teams in 4 years time period will b relegated to Category-B for next 4 years while 7th & 8th teams will b promoted to category-A.

Posted by CricketChat on (January 16, 2014, 17:10 GMT)

@BARFI: Agree with you completely. Since test cricket in its current form will not be eliminated completely until about 2025 (when the last generation of test cricket lovers will most likely be out of the game) I endorse next best idea, make it less boring and get more teams like the fringe associates involved in the meantime. In not so distant future, I think only T20 will exist and thrive. Even ODIs in the current format will perish.

Posted by TigerRoars on (January 16, 2014, 16:23 GMT)

Let's not dis only the lower ranked countries. In recent days, nearly every test series has been one-sided. Who wants to watch these matches? ICC needs to think about this as well. Otherwise, one-sided matches might continue in each tier.

Posted by soumyas on (January 16, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

If the reason is just going against popular, lucrative IPL then it may not work, I think at the moment it is better not to go against the tide of IPL, they just need to find the way to go along with with it, because more people,players,sponsors are happy with IPL than who are sad.

Posted by correctcall on (January 16, 2014, 15:38 GMT)

In any new system the value of an away win or draw has to be recognised in any test ranking points allocation. Suggest a 50 % points premium should be derived for such an outcome. That would perhaps encourage SC teams to develop skills to deal with pace and bounce whilst motivating Eng, Sa, Aus, NZ to better develop skills applicable on dust bowls.

Posted by JustIPL on (January 16, 2014, 15:18 GMT)

Tier systems is against the right of tes playing nation and their test status. ICC should ensure that all test playing nations follow the FTP and play appropriate number of matches among each other. ICC ranking should also be made more meaninful. Each test should be as important and test championship will create some unimportant matches where teams will field B or C teams as happens in ODIs. Even a drawn test makes an absorbing contest. For associates ICC has continental cup where teams make their mark and if you play BD, ZIM, WI at that level 99 times out of 100 they will keep their mark top of the pack. So, tier talk is ridiculous. ICC ranking system is flawed and unfair as it encourages teams pick and chose among teams to gain points. Win against a team at the bottom of table has less points then points against top ranking teams which has created un announced tiers anyhow.

Posted by BARFI on (January 16, 2014, 15:10 GMT)

Test Cricket is dead. I just don't know how anyone cannot understand the fact that at this moment the Top Nations decide when and whom they would play a test against. The fact that Zimbabwe and Bangladesh is struggling is only because there are too many teams for a long game like tests and top nation unwillingness to play them. Like ashes it is based on the history of rivalry between England and Australia. Why you want to give that up right?...So, England and Australia will play each year twice regardless and rest of the weak nation as we call them don't get any chance. I say cancel test matches all together. Why would you want to seat for 5 days to watch a strategy game. People are busy now. Cricket won't be popular or global if you try to contain between some elite members!

Posted by inswing on (January 16, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

The main concern of the TV broadcasters is that what would happen if India or Eng don't make it to top four. This is a legitimate concern. However, it should be solvable by making the contract amount contingent on the teams. If Eng or Ind don't make it then one (lower) amount, if Aus or SA don't make it then another amount, if all four make it then another (higher) amount. It is very silly that this should result in canceling of the entire championship that is very important to Test cricket.

Posted by swarzi on (January 16, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

Cont'd: On the other hand, Bang. was given test status when short format cricket took over the world; the format to which they are mainly exposed. Hence, their test cricket quality is not growing. Too, the other poorer cricketing jurisdictions are also made to play more short format cricket to meet their financial commitments. The result is that the quality of players in all these poor jurisdictions is not at test match level; and spectators are not motivated to watch mediocre cricketers! Can you see yourself watching two teams of PURE MEDIOCRE CRICKETERS in action, when you know what is real cricket? This is the reason that test match crowds have dwindled so drastically and much money is not being made in these poor countries. The ICC see the problem purely as they not making money in these countries and appear to want to get rid of all test cricket in them, leaving that format to the rich countries that can afford it. The tone of a 2 tier system sounds so discriminatory and stupid!

Posted by CricketChat on (January 16, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

Don't know why it took ICC experts, containing many ex-cricketers themselves, to 'mull' about 2-tier system. I remember many readers in cricinfo and surely countless other fans all over have been advocating this system after watching Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and more recently NZ and WI struggle to extend tests into 5th or even 4th day. 2-tier system is not a novel idea but the only practical way to keep tests interesting short of limiting each inning by a fixed number of overs. Enough of mulling and time to implement right away.

Posted by Almightys on (January 16, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

I had already suggested to ICC by mail.. this is very promising concept and for sure it will work for longer period of time and it will bring new rules in international cricket for. I would suggest to make each test match of 4 days with this format, That will heat up the competition and countries like India, SriLanka, Bangladesh grounds will be made which support for both bowlers and batsmen also, remember to win matches 20 wickets must be grabbed.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 16, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

@burnt_cow, Its a quandry, I can understand the older test nations not wanting to play BD more often as it often turns out to be very one sided, very much like an international playing a warmup game against a 2nd IX FC team,

@Fast_Track_Bully, you missed the entire point i was making, in that BD is experiencing nothing new, if anything the ICC has made the situation better. It should also be noted that England reguarly travelled to and invited teams from around the world once they gained test status, thats why they've played around 140 more tests than any other country.

@hari7ajay, Ireland were invited to enter the FC system a few years ago but declined, they also used to take part in the Domestic OD competition, as did Holland and Scotland (the latter 2 still do I think). Which is a lot more than any other country does.

In regards to adding another FC team its not possible, if it were there are a couple of Minor counties waiting.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 12:51 GMT)

Two tier system is an excellent way to include/welcome new teams(countries) to the test arena.There can be eight teams in one tier,but instead of direct promotion or relegation there can be another set of playoffs with the last two teams in the tier 1 and first two teams in tier 2.The top 2 teams in playoff will be in tier1 and the rest in tier 2.This way we can ensure that the top 8 teams in the world stay in the tier 1.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 16, 2014, 12:26 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding. Do not look at years, but look at number of games played. In earlier days, there were only 3-4 teams are they played less number of games only. Some years there wasn't any test too!. Also, most of the players will have to retire or will be dropped within 10 years. So, there will not be much advantage like these years (similar opponents will met 2-3 times in 3 year gap - so same set of players(90%) will paly against each other) when similar opponents met in another game. So, it is not good to take number of yeras to count the development of a team, but count the number of games.

Posted by hari7ajay on (January 16, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding: I dint mean to develop certain players by taking them into the existing FC teams..... i just suggested to include the Associate Teams in the first class system and fixtures...make them compete at the domestic level...

May be Each of the Elite Nations can give a slot to one of the Associate teams for every season...so that they get to play as a team in all conditions...

Just mentioned England as an example mate.......

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 11:38 GMT)

I think it is better to introduce day night tests. Yes there are flaws, but no harm in trying them in a small scale and continue investing on the ideal type of ball (as that is what seems to be a problem) for day night tests.

Posted by burnt_cow on (January 16, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding, I forgot to mention about home and away series with England. That was really a good opportunity for BD I also agree

Posted by burnt_cow on (January 16, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding, you are right that BD got test status 13 yrs ago not 20 yrs. but I'm talking about FTP , in which there is no test series for BD in Ind until 2020. You are also right about comparing NZ with BD. But the fact is at that time Aus or Ind also didn't play too much test either. Now a days if you look at the FTP BD and Zim are not getting even half of the matches with top teams. According to the ranking rules BD can't get many points if they continue playing against Zim and other associates. That also affects the player ranking. Shakib is not playing half of the matches of other all rounders like Ashwin, Hafeez and Kallis.

Posted by Conan17 on (January 16, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

@ Vignesh Venkatraman. The only reason Ind are ranked 2nd is because they have played the majority of their test cricket on the subcontinent over the last 18 months. When was the last time they won a game in Aus, Eng or SA? In the recent series in SA they chose the venues (the only two they have won a test match at previously!) and won the toss which kept them in the games. If it was a longer series and they played on a fast wicket, the game would of been over in a couple days. Playing Ind in test cricket is a joke. I'd rather see 5 test series against Eng, Aus and Pak.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

it seems all about trying to attract players from IPL. instead of focusing how to reinvent test cricket and make it appealing. ICC and some pundits trying to undermined IPL without embracing change and what the public wants

Posted by Roysingh1972 on (January 16, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

Test should be two division, 7 teams in each, the loser goes down and winner goes up, like it is done in all other league. One game home and one away, the winner get the world test cup. The game should be in the evening and night, and should be less days, how could you convince some one to sit in front a TV or in a stadium for 5 long days, play one game and make the stakes high! Pay the players for runs and wicket, also catches and run out, do like NZ and pay $100,000 for a one hand catch, pay the coach who wins also. ICC need to look at ways to bring people to the game, make it fun, like 20/20 and one day.

Posted by tauhid_aks on (January 16, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

As a Bangladeshi fan, I actually support the two tier system. Even now we don't get to play too much cricket against top opposition, so our matches might increase if there is two-tier Test system, and we might get to play in conditions like that of Ireland. I would recommend giving Ireland and Afghans Test status, and top 6 teams then can be in the top tier.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 16, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

@smudgeon, I take issue with the only 3 test series against england, generally they are 4 or 5 test series, however 2012 was an annomoly due to the small matter of england hosing one of the worlds largest sporting events at the time.

I'm sure a 4 test series could have been arranged but the olympics would have drawn a lot of the cloud away as it tends to be a once in a generation event. It was mooted by the ECb to host aus in 2012 and SA in 2013 to avoid the back to back ashes but they decided against it because of said olympics so SA where invited instead.

It should also be noted that the number of tests is a bi-lateral agreement between boards both propose the number of tests and then they negotiate, giving reasons for increaing or decreasing the number. Usually in favour of ODI's where SC teams are concerned.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 16, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

@hari7ajay, and why should it be left to england to develop other countries players? We give a number of NZ/SA players the opportunity to play in the FC system and then get critised for selecting them to the england squad despite these players taking the spots of English born and qualifed players.

I also believe its time that India, Aus and SA open up their FC systems to overseas players but they wont as they are a closed shop.

Posted by hari7ajay on (January 16, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

we can't go straight away and develop an international side... It should start from the domestic level... Associate nations have to expose their players to other domestic circuit..May be english season would certainly help....Nurture them over a period of time and then make them compete with the international standards...

Posted by smudgeon on (January 16, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

Greatest_Game on (January 15, 2014, 23:30 GMT), thanks for your (rather odd) comment/attack, but as per your usual MO, you seem to have completely misinterpreted my point - perhaps wilfully, from the tone of your response? The thing about SA (and Pakistan and SL, if you'd really read my comment) is that despite being competitive teams, they seem to only play 2- (or at best, 3-) test series, while England, Australia, and India play more often and in more tests despite recent home whitewashes (India beat Aus 4-0, Aus beat End 5-0, etc). You did get one thing right (although I didn't actually say this myself), SA are indeed the best team in the world. Just a pity that despite this, their board seem to have little to bargain with for a proper test series against Aus-Ind-Eng. Just a post-script: if you're going to try and poke holes in someone's opinion, don't quote them directly and then intentionally misquote them in the next paragraph - looks rather desperate, you know?

Posted by Prateek65900 on (January 16, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

I like the concept....this would help improve both the currently playing nations as well as the aspiring nations. Currently there is no pressure or added incentive to improve the standard of cricket from a lot of the nations. However, I do not understand the apprehension towards IPL from so many people and especially English. I mean...this is a format which is really popular and is thoroughly enjoyed by the public which is demonstrated by strength in the stadiums.....why can't we just a create a seperate window for IPL so that no one will have a conflict of interest.

Posted by BeingCricketFan on (January 16, 2014, 9:14 GMT)

Finally, ICC taking some steps which sounds interesting. Yep, the promotion/relegation system will create more buzz then World Test Championship with giving associate/affiliate nations chance to feature on big stage. Hope ICC don't doom this idea.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 16, 2014, 9:09 GMT)

@burnt_cow, firstly Bangladesh only recieved test status in 2000, which means that its only been 13 years not 20 years, secondly achieving tests status they have played england 4 times with 2 away and 2 home series of two tests, which equates to a series roughly every 3 years.

You should look at howlong it took Australia to recognize NZ as a test nation, NZ recieved test status in 1930 yet didnt play Aus Home or Away until 1946 (note there was 6 years of war 1939-1945), when they had a single test at home, It was then a further 26 years before they then played Australia (1973) home or away.

It should also be noted that India didnt play NZ until 1955, a staggering 27 years since either side achived test status so BD hasnt been hard done by incomparrison.

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 16, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

There needs to be a fluid movement between the tiers for cricket. Like there is in Davis Cup tennis to allow all nations to improve and progress. Imagine if tennis just stayed with the old guard. You would only have a top tier of Australian, USA, France and Great Britain. Laughable to think of it that way. Cricket needs to allow an obvious progression and a punishment for the malingerers.

Nations like Bangladesh have had a wonderful go of making it as a test nation and just have gone nowhere. Well, the penalty will be swift and I would not be surprised if a Canada or a Netherlands moved past Bangladesh if given the opportunity.

Posted by Sinhabahu on (January 16, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

Why do so many people think that India deserves a spot in Tier 1? Have you guys seen the results in their last 10 Tests overseas?

Posted by SpitFire on (January 16, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

Lot of factors are generally considered before a team gets test status. Team performance is one of them but not the most important one. ICC also has to check if the term "Cricket" will exist in a particular country before it gets a test status. Canada played cricket once, and if they were given test status then, it will be Test Team without a Cricket Team. Same applies for Ireland & Afghanistan. They play good no doubt, but do they have a future in Cricket? 40 - 50 players (max) play in the Irish Cricket League, half from other European countries. Think twice if they will have enough cricketers after 10 years. Same for Afghan team. Most games unite, and cricket (esp ICC) believes in discriminating. Why not just lock the teams so that they can play a team 2 ranks above them and as they move up in ranking they can unlock more opposition instead of "Tier"ing them apart. I don't see Afghans or Ireland beating any of Ban or Zim in nxt 5 years.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 8:05 GMT)

I've been advocating this for a few years. Even have a play off between the bottom ranked Div 2 Test team and the winner of the Inter continental Cup! Room needs to be made for big series though if teams in the classics are in different divisions. Pooling of global tv revenue so it's split equally among the Test nations would help achieve a better balance.

Posted by burnt_cow on (January 16, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

Test cricket is already a 2 tier competition where Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are not allowed to play away matches in India (no test for BD in 20 years), Australia (1 series in 10 yrs) and South Africa(1 series in 10 yrs). BD is playing with NZ, WI,SL and ZIM mainly and sometimes with England (mostly in home). If ICC don't allow BD to play in those countries they'll never be able to improve their rank and will remain in the bottom tier for ever. Creating two tiers including BD, ZIM , AFG and Ire is just relegating BD and Zim to the associates.Another thing ICC should consider to balance the number of home & away games for these tow test teams.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 16, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

@Posted by Chris_P on (January 16, 2014, 4:30 GMT), Its the same in the UK however you can probably turn up on the day at most grounds when england play the 'lesser' teams, however for the major teams (Aus, SA and India), there is a lot of demand for tickets. Pakistan games can be a bit hit and miss, in terms of turn out as a lot depends on when ramadan falls and how well the pakistan team are doing.

I used to try and get to the Oval for a full test but now they've introdced a ballot system that is generally way over subscribed I dont bother as I cant guarantee gettign tickets for all 5 days, the same goes with lords except for lesser teams.

Posted by jw76 on (January 16, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

Two-tier Test cricket is a possibility worth examining, but precautions should be taken to protect Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in particular. They should still be given opportunities to play members of the upper tier, and they should also be given financial support, as playing in the lower tier would hit them very hard financially.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

the problem is, Test Cricket should be played by many Nations, why ICC has this vision of only allowing 6-7 Nations Test statues is ridiculous, This is the same as FIFA saying that only 6-7 Country can play soccer against each other, what doesnt help is player migration, if a Country doesnt have their best players available due to them migrating to a Test Nation, doesnt this stop this Nation from getting strong enought to ask for Test statues in current ICC regulations? Test cricket will Die due to ICC failing to move with the times and evolve to bring this form of cricket to the wider world, not just the big 4 and few minors, but there are Nations like USA Mexico or China which havent been explored. Maybe its time that these ICC heads start to think of the future and not just the past.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 16, 2014, 7:50 GMT)

@Neehelas.... Probably the same as the Gavaskar Border trophy if India get relegated.

Posted by Baundele on (January 16, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

If the two tier system is implemented as a fair deal, teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will be benefited. They do not get to play enough test matches at the moment. If the two tier system means they can replace ICC favorite teams like India, England, Australia etc. from the top tier - assuming the bottom of the top tier will be replaced by the top of the 2nd tier, then it gives them a chance to show their performances. On the other hand, if the two tier system means that top teams are not at such risks, only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have to play for their survival, then it is not a fair deal. Like the perplexing DRS rules, it is also an implementation issue.

Posted by Timmuh on (January 16, 2014, 7:24 GMT)

I'm really not a fan of divisions in Test cricket. Test cricket is the ultimate. It is the peak of the sport. You can't have two levels of the top level. Ireland, Afghanistan (problematic due to a lack of home games) and eventually othrers need to be given more games against professional first class sides, "A" teams and a path to Test cricket. Do that, and fix the FTP so all teams get regular games against all other teams (and enforce the FTP - perhaps deny entry to world cups and T20 comps if teams don't fulfil their Test requirements). Yes, Ireland touring India will be one-sided. It would still of great benefit to Ireland, and a chance to take Tests to places that don't get international cricket otherwise. The authorities in India, and here in Australia, are far too focussed on short term cash and are destroying the sport in the process.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

Seems to be the utmost perfect thing to do can be put into actual practice as soon as 2016 ... 6 teams in the first group to start with .. to decide the top 6 teams .. have a series with the top 8 playing each other in home and away 3 match series .. just that all the nations comply make it a priority .. i know many would be

Posted by VisBal on (January 16, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

It is ok if the ICC decide to drop the Test WC. I can live with that. But two divisions? No, not when there are only 10 teams at the top level. In any case, we already have two divisions: Full Members and Associate Members. I presume they want to split the existing Full Members into two divisions, and as I gather bring the top two Associates in. I have a few questions regarding logistics. On what basis will the teams be seeded initially? How will the Associates be chosen? How frequently will teams be reseeded between the two groups? When will the Associates be made Full Members (is there an escalator clause)? How many matches will be played to determine the rankings? However you look at it, the plan only becomes workable if all bilateral series are of a uniform length (number of matches). That can be done immediately. If each of the 10 teams plays two home and two away series every year, one cycle will be completed in 4.5 yrs. So count the rankings only over a cycle (ignore the past).

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

What will be the future of Ashes if Australia and England are placed in different divisions?

Posted by crookedfinger on (January 16, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

ICC should try this on experimental basis for few years. If it is successful only then they should continue. If it gives some adverse effects, it should be then immediately scrapped.

Posted by PadMarley on (January 16, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

Bring Ashes down to three tests!!

Posted by Diceman on (January 16, 2014, 6:29 GMT)

As always, the Devil is in the detail.

I support adding more test teams to allow Bangladesh and Zimbabwe more competition, however I dislike promotion/relegation and would much prefer this based on the local board meeting certain pre defined criteria regarding player depth, performance, and first class comps

I dislike dividing the test nations into a top and bottom division. Most cricket boards outside the big three are struggling financially, and any of the eight major teams that dont make the top division will face real hardship. It is hard enough now for these sides to get a lucrative series against the big three. With a league framework in place these series will become rarer, with the extra burden of playing more series against weak teams that provide little in the way of additional funds. This will make the IPL and T20 a bigger lure than now.

Much prefer to see top nations limited to one home series against any one team in a four year period to ensure a wider range of tests.

Posted by dganger on (January 16, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

I believe they should implement first in the shorter version of the game, mainly ODI's. This can be a good experiment to sample out for the longer version in future. See the point is many people are worried bout the future of Test cricket but thr is also a bigger objective to help promising associate nations to grow in cricket and become competitive. But this will only happen when a thr is a substantial fan following builds up in those nations and the route is t20-odi-test. A nation need really mature fan following to understand the greatness of a test match. Suddenly if u thrust this associate nations on playing test cricket i doubt how much it will help the game to develop in thr nation. Instead many would found utterly boring and might have a reverse effect. I also see many people are getting harsh on Banladesh, this is little unfair considering how the game rapidly become popular in last decade. Remember they have beaten Newzeland twice in a home series and that too white wash.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

I've got some different opinions about this.. While it's an exciting idea, I am not sure if it's going to provide the right result we're hoping!! Associate teams have not managed to shine in the shorter format, what are the chances they won't humiliate themselves and give the opponents some meaningless stats? I could not digest someone surpassing the great Lara's 400 etc. Bangladesh have been good Cricket in the past 2 years or so and even they will bulldoze the associate teams.. WI might look ordinary against top test nations but they will rip these minnows apart.. ODI format should be a good enough test for non-test playing nations and ODI/T20 World Cup qualifiers could allow more teams to showcase their talent. I am desperate to see more nations playing Cricket too unfortunately not too many are interested in it.. longest format may not be the one to attract those nations!! I wish them good luck though..

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 6:06 GMT)

What Ken Edwards said.

I like the idea of two-tiers if the so called big 3 are willing to take their lumps. I still remember the hasty change of WC format after Bangladesh knocked them out India in the 2007 World Cup. As long as there are no formula tweaks the first time a ECB, CA or BCCI gets relegated, I'm in.

Posted by Jonocricketnz on (January 16, 2014, 5:59 GMT)

The biggest issue for me with Test Cricket and ranking is that I never know how many points a team gets for winning and how many points needed for a team to climb up the test rankings. Wouldn't it be simpler if everyone started on 0 points at the start of the year, played an even amount of test matches and at the end of the year whoever got the most points won? That's what every other sport does, and does successfully! Even the provincial first class test teams do that (well at least in NZ)

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 5:45 GMT)

This is a great idea! I really hope it gets implemented as that would lead to the growth of the game and the well being of cricket as a whole.

However I doubt it will work if Ind, Eng or Aus gets demoted. There is no way India would agree to keep playing Ban or Zim and there is no way Eng or Aus would agree to do away with The Ashes. At the end of the day commerce and self interest trumps merit and good sense.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (January 16, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

@IndiaRulesEverybody: rather it should be Elite group: SA, Aus, Eng, Pak; Mediocre group: SL, NZ, WI, Ind

Posted by Udendra on (January 16, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

The only amendment that needs to be done in current Test cricket is replace Bangladesh with Ireland.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

It`ll be interested to make a rule to play Minimum No of Test Matches in Every Year by a Team, then the priority will go for Tests than useless leagues.that is really promotional move than above all.Some Test Nation Countries only play 2 or 3 Tests for year nowadays, because of that their interest for test is going away

Posted by Gopalakrishna on (January 16, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

So, Michael Vaughan's idea is to stop IPL ?

Posted by RoshJ on (January 16, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

First of all the ICC should sort-out the currennt flawed points system, away macthes should be granted more points so team like INDIA will not be able to get to the top of the ranking courtesy flat tracks preapred for them in their own country!...I mean just look at their record..for a no. 2 team it just not add-up!

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

What I propose is the two tier system in all formats ie Test, ODI and T20. In tests There Should be Tier 1 with Top 8 teams playing a standard 3 match series with each other over a period of 3 years home and away and Tier 2 should have 6 teams playing again a standard 3 test match series home and away. After the completion of the same The Top two teams in Tier 1 should play 3 tests 1 home 1 away and 1 neutral to decide the Test Champions. and the Bottom team in tier 1 should play the Top team in Tier 2 , 3 tests 1 home 1 away and 1 neutral to decide who is relegated and who is advanced. On the 3 test tours there should be a 3 ODIs and a 3 T20s standard format tours. This will keep the audience hooked to all 3 formats. the ODIs and T20s however will have standard world cups every 4 years and will have 12 teams out of the 14 with the bottom 2 in tier 2 relegated every 3 years and new 2 teams given a chance from the associate countries to play all 3 formats for the next 3 years.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (January 16, 2014, 5:01 GMT)

Lower ranked bowlers should have the opportunity to bowl against players like Amla, AB, Sanga, Clarke etc. Lower ranked batsman should have the opportunity to play against Stayn, Jhonson, Ajmal, Anderson atc. Otherwise how can you expect them to improve. Current format is more than enough with proper scheduling.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 4:58 GMT)

What if the form of one of economic powerhouses of cricket (India, England, Australia, South Africa) falls away and they find themselves relegated ? I'm certain the BCCI in particular would not agree to playing at Test Match series with Ireland or Afghanistan instead of a cash-cow tour of England or Australia.

Posted by mihir_nam on (January 16, 2014, 4:36 GMT)

So they just renaming Intercontinental Cup into DIV 2 Test Cricket and making so called Elite club of 8 teams.. with bottom 2 of Div One playing with top 2 of Div 2 in play off for promotion and relegation . This means 8 in top and 8 in div2 or 6 teams. So we will never see teams like Ireland Zimbabwe playing at Lords.There should be equal status. I don't mind Divisions but there should be atleast One Off Inter-Division Test Matches . India/Aus/RSA/Div1 Touring England playing one off Test and 3Odi's against Ireland. Same with teams touring India play Bangladesh in One off test . And Div2 teams can play 3Test match series among themselves. Also Bi-lateral ODI series should be replaced by ODI tri-Series . With 2 Divone team & one Div 2team. Div 3 should play Intercontinental Cup with 8 Teams a 4-day tournament. With top two teams from Div 3 play bottom 2 from Div2. So till 2019 we can have ODI status to 24Teams. And T20 should go as per Regional Qualifiers for all except winner n Host

Posted by Chris_P on (January 16, 2014, 4:30 GMT)

@Leonb, Even better when someone who goes posts! I usually get to the Gabba tests & SCG tests, (which also had a decent turnout for Sri Lanka in Hussey's last match) so this thing about no one going to Tests is a fallacy, especially down under.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 16, 2014, 4:25 GMT)

@Om Prakash Real cricket is the serious stuff, longer forms of the game where all applications of cricket are in use including patience. Tests, not only Ashes gets bug turnouts here. What is your point anyway? Just FYI, there were more than 70,000 people turned up when Sri Lanka played there Boxing Day 2012 in answer to your question which would suggest that people do turn out to watch test cricket, which was my point. I am saying some people enjoy test cricket & pointed it out to a poster. You disagreeing? Try looking up crowd numbers of test cricket down here if you are still confused. I play all 3 formats currently (opening the batting) & let me tell you, 50 or 45 over & T20 is not real cricket compared to the one where extended concentration is required.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 4:10 GMT)

The existing format is very good and nothing wrong. With the proposed test championship it will become glamorous. So stop making 2 divisions and a discrimination as all the 10 countries have gained test status and the weak teams must get the opportunity to play, at least 2 tests, with the best teams to gain experience in test cricket as that what matters.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

It`ll be interested to make schedules as Equal No of Test Matches for every Test Nation Countries ,that is really promotional move than above all.

Posted by jrg_from_oz on (January 16, 2014, 3:50 GMT)

This idea might just work. However, there needs to be much thought given to unintended consequences - such as the inevitable time when either AUS or ENG drops to 2nd tier, and an Ashes series is due. Special rules for some series? Messy.

There is also the potential for A teams from tier 1 countries playing against the full team from tier 2 countries. Hard to call them "Tests", but it would provide both reasonable-natched opposition and a chance for the 2nd tier countries to host a 1st tier country.

Yes, lots to think about, but it has potential.

Posted by gibbons on (January 16, 2014, 3:45 GMT)

@Om Prakash... given that Australia played Sri Lanka at the MCG last year, we don't need to be hypothetical about it, do we?

67 thousand on the first day, and a further 70 thousand over the next two days. That's quite a few people.

Regarding your earlier question, I see no reason why fixtures outside the tier system wouldn't be able to be arranged, so long as the scheduled series are taking place. It would stop forcing superficial two match series between everybody, though.

For me, the most exciting thing is the opportunity for a team like Ireland to have the chance to force their way - through weight of performance - to a test playing position. Would also love to see England stop stealing their best and brightest.

Posted by Legaleagle on (January 16, 2014, 3:20 GMT)

Great idea by ICC, I hope they implement it. This will give weaker teams like Bangladesh to prove themselves before they play stronger teams. Or else people are losing interest in Test Cricket because of weaker teams like Bangladesh, and all the one sided games.

Posted by Ruminate on (January 16, 2014, 3:17 GMT)

Prakash, the last Boxing Day Aust vs Sri Lanka day 1 attendance was 67,000 in 2012, the year prior vs India was 70,000.... Not sure what your point is?

Posted by Biggus on (January 16, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster:- Heard it all before, that old line about nobody having 5 days spare to watch tests, and you've heard the rebuttal, that we test fans catch what we can of it, on TV, radio, and news from those who have the score, but you choose to ignore it. If we're to take your assertion that a 'fast paced world needs fast paced solutions' (what a load of spin, you should have a career in advertising), then we shouldn't read books for instance, since they're much too time consuming, but can get all we need from a four frame cartoon in the daily paper. Don't even think of reading Tolstoy's 'War and Peace', over a thousand pages of it, when you can read oodles of articles in newspapers that are short, ill researched, largely unsubstantiated gossip AND won't stretch a short attention span past it's meagre limits. Why would you listen to a piece of music over three minutes long when you can have Lady Gaga? There are some of us that like things that take time, whether you get it or not Cap.

Posted by Raihan_Shovon on (January 16, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

You know what?? We Bangladeshis think it's a good idea... We get 2-3 tests per year now.... At least, that way, we will get more matches.... Ind,Aus,SA,Eng are afraid of BAN for 'upsets!' anyway. So, whatever....

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 2:54 GMT)

"...It is also likely that regulations requiring all teams to play each other regularly will be relaxed". How could you have a competitive 2 division league cricket without each country playing all other countries in the division? Also, I reckon they will have to set aside a time table for each team to complete its round of test matches by when the champion test nation would be decided as are the teams relegated and promoted.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 2:45 GMT)

first of all India never been a best or unbeatable test side!!!n yes the proposed systm is possible option for betterment of tst cricket n ICC should workout on making test result orientated draw sounds boring bcz other teams all work went just in vain when tst turns out to be draw.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 2:44 GMT)

@ OM Prakash, Boxing Day cricket in Australia, between Australia -India or Australia- Sri Lanka have similar crowd, and similar results if you analysed from 1990. Even though you try to show India as a superior side.

Posted by Robster1 on (January 16, 2014, 2:39 GMT)

At last an excellent, yet simple idea from the ICC. Having two (or more) divisions would both give immediate context to every test match and also create a path to the top table for associate countries. To make it really valid and interesting, relegation must be real possibility for full member countries. The sooner this idea is permanently implemented, the better.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 2:33 GMT)

@Om Prakash - Now you say countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, NewZealand and West Indies will never get a proper chance to play countries like India and Australia. India very recently became a good test side. West Indians ruled the world one time for more than three decades.West Indian - Indian battle was like a dinosaurs vs some tiny creatures. Getting bigger and small was not permanent. One time Sri Lanka hold a number 2 position in test cricket for a long period. If number two side cannot play test cricket then what joke is it. I still believe you have thoroughly overrated the current Indian side. I believe still India- Pakistan game is a fight between two equal sides. Pakistan has an edge in their bowling department. (If it is not flat track in India, Pakistan will win the game)

Posted by Maroubra_Flyer on (January 16, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

I think keep the WTC but make them timeless Tests 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 at 1 & 2s home venue/season & then the highest ranked winner determines where/when the final is played (Only 1 Test). Don't put in a tiered system, but admit Ireland & Afghanistan. All series should be minimum 3 Tests with the Top 4 playing 5 Test series (Ind, Aus, Eng, SA). Others can play 5 when they have earnt it. Also put the teams into zones allied to a Top nation. SA & England have to play Zimbabwe & Ireland regularly (either the Top team or A sides). India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan (same). Then Sri Lanka, NZ & Aus (same). Actually NZ should send 2 sides to play in the Sheffield Shield (North & South Island) as they currently do with soccer (1) that will spice up the domestic competition.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 16, 2014, 2:16 GMT)

It would be great if Ireland can get test status, Onions and Finn can open the bowling seeing they are not required elsewhere.

Posted by salazar555 on (January 16, 2014, 2:00 GMT)

4 countries should play test cricket (Aus, Eng, Ind, SA)

The rest should focus on limited overs cricket. The 4 teams mentioned don't want to play the minnows as there is less interest and less money and the minnows would rather play short format cricket because the people through the gates are far bigger and therefore create more money.

Don't try and flog a dead horse, The big 4 want to play each other, they aren't interested in playing Bangladesh or Zimbabwe in tests.Smaller cricketing nations should focus on 20/20 and get good at that.

Posted by Desihungama on (January 16, 2014, 1:58 GMT)

This is perfect for Pakistan. They should arrange 10 Test match series with Afghanistan to get brownie points.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 1:57 GMT)

@Manish Garedia Though m a pakistani but totally agree with you, and about changes i will welcome any changes that will promote test cricket, again ICC and Cricket Australia should force Pakistan and other nations to play 3 Test series home and away

Posted by quogequox on (January 16, 2014, 1:25 GMT)

Excellent, I have complete faith in the ICC to look after the future of test cricket. And...ooh I've come over a bit dizzy, might need to go lie down.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 1:19 GMT)

and the law should not be banned at that time when any top cricket nation is about to relegate ! I mean if somehow, England/Australia/India /South Africa relegates, I hope there would be no law all of a sudden...... because cricket has been a game for a few nations.....let it spread....if China/USA/Russia/Saudia Arabia involves in cricket......financial situation of cricket may be better....... but one thing has to be sure.........playing top level cricket cannot be some cricket super power's right.....! everyone should have the opportunity to come at top tier, everyone should have the fear of relegation. If that can be ensured, then okay, let the implementation of this new system be there.......do not make these new laws only stating the names of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.because that is disgraceful and disturbing....

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 1:16 GMT)

The real reason tiering makes sense is for scheduling reasons. Each tier plays each other home and away in the 4 year cycle. Also allow for 2 series vs teams from the other tier. That way you'll always have rival series still available eg if England or Australia fell to tier 2 the ashes would still happen.

It means more competitive test matches between equally capable teams. They will still all be test matches and have a promotion relegation system, to both tiers. if Zimbabwe or Bangladesh can't beat Afghanistan or Ireland in a test series why should they be a top test side and not the others? By the time on of the top 8 or 9 test countries would get relegated out of tier 2 there should be sufficiently good teams in other countries to fill the gap.

If they don't do this to ease scheduling we will continue to get stupid 2 test series. Also restrict T20s to 3 game series and ODI series to a maximum of 5.

Posted by IPSY on (January 16, 2014, 1:10 GMT)

If we are going to have a two tier system for the WTC tournament, because the strong teams think that the competition is too one sided when they play the weak teams, then I think the weak teams should be making a similar case for a two tier system in the T/20 World Cup tournament. By the way, where are the so called representatives from the countries with the so called weak test teams?

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 1:10 GMT)

@Om -- the answer to your question is a paltry 67,000.

Posted by IndiaRulesEverybody on (January 16, 2014, 0:53 GMT)

Elite Group: India, SA, Australia, England Mediocre group: SL,Pak,NZ,WI Emerging Group: Zim,Ireland,Afghanistan, Kenya Substandard Group: Papua New Guinea,BD

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 0:38 GMT)

how come when WI was blowing away aus, india etc. while batting just once, they were not calling for a tier system then. what goes around will surely come around. when Bishen Bedi called in his battered batsmen in Jamaica years ago, what tier would we have put them in. I look forward to the pendulum swinging one day, and it will.

Posted by Ozizim on (January 16, 2014, 0:33 GMT)

It's a healthy thing to argue about the merits of the idea. But the bottom line is this: MONEY! WTC won't happen and neither will this two tier thing. At best, it's an idea that will be passed but will not materialise. India will still be a holding the reins for another decade at least, and there is no way they will allow a dilution. If they do (unlikely), it will be a watered down version of the original anyway.

Posted by Showbags88 on (January 16, 2014, 0:31 GMT)

This idea has merit I think. It would allow the minnow nations like Ireland, Zimbabwe and England the chance to play each other before having to make the step up to the big time. Also like the EPL it would be fun watching the bottom of the table to see the battle for relegation.

Posted by Gazzypops on (January 15, 2014, 23:58 GMT)

But which division would England be in (asks an England fan)?

Posted by Antony_NZ on (January 15, 2014, 23:36 GMT)

So lets say NZ,will now only play test cricket against BD ZIM AFG and IRE. There is no way that will help the game, test cricket will die out in NZ and the gap between the the 1st and 9th ranked team will just extend further. ICC needs to focus on strengthening the contestability of teams ranked 5 - 9, once thats established than look at this 2 tier option. Broadcasters wont be interested in these 2nd tier matches and what wil result is 4 or 5 teams competing at test level instead of 9 or 10 (on their day). ICC will be biting off more the can chew here, if anything is the catalyst for test destruction, this would be it

Posted by SportsObserver on (January 15, 2014, 23:36 GMT)

If you are a fan of two-tier system, then make it (6 + 6) and NOT ( 8 + 4 ), cause we all know you are deliberately targeting two countries with (8 + 4/6/8). (6+6) can be really interesting with one or even two promotion/relegation. May be in the near future we can kiss series like Ashes goodbye. May be it will take disasters like that to get back to one-tier system. But 6+6 will produce really intense and quality cricket and no one will feel left out. It's like playing for your life, with everyone playing to avoid relegation and trying to get promotion. You want to be adventurous, lets do it the right way and for right reasons, don't make up rules just targeting two countries and reverse it when it starts to hurt you!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 15, 2014, 23:30 GMT)

@ smudgeon on thinks that "... we already have a tiered system in a way: Eng-India-Aus in one camp, then the rest. SA, SL and Pakistan seem to sort of float in an area in-between, and then NZ-Zimbabwe-WI-Bangladesh play out some of the most entertaining stuff between themselves (IMHO)."

THE single GLARING error in your (IMHO ridiculous) hypothesis is that no country can beat SA! They "seem to sort of float in an area" far above all the other teams, a cricketing stratosphere none other inhabit. Perhaps it should be a 3 tiered system. The bottom two tiers fight it out for the right to play South Africa? On the other hand, given all the South African cricketers who "seem to sort of float in an area" called the English Cricket team, the NZ cricket team, etc etc, perhaps we could have multiple South African teams, & the bottom 2 tiers can squabble for the chance to be beaten by SA i, II, III or IV. That is about as sensible as your senseless observation!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 23:29 GMT)

@Manish: Thank you for opening your mouth without doing proper research just like most of your biased countrymen.

Check this website stats (go to stats and check win/loss ratio since 1974), you will see that Pakistan is ranked #2 in ODI (win/loss ratio) after Australia and India is third. Pakistan is also ranked #1 in T20 and India is 4th. The only format that both India and Pakistan are mediocre in is Test cricket (ranked #6 and #5 respectively). So before you open your mouth next time, you may want to do some research.


Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 23:03 GMT)

I think the best way forward is a 3 tier system of 4 teams each. Ireland, Zim, Bangladesh & Afghanistan in the bottom tier. Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies & New Zealand in the middle tier while South Africa, India, England & Australia would make up the top tier. all teams must play @ least 4 Test series with a minimum of 3 Tests in a Calendar Year. 2 of those series should be @ home/ neutral venue 4 Pakistan & 2 away. for the top 2 tiers @ least 1 of the 4 series should be against a top tier team. for the bottom tier they should play 3 series against each other & 1 against either a tier 1 or 2 team each year,

Posted by Bang_La on (January 15, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

If the report is true then based on present performance, India and England should lead the 2nd division. Think!

Posted by RiteshGhimirey on (January 15, 2014, 22:40 GMT)

This is a great move from ICC to promote and to keep alive test cricket, but the time taken to implement it will loose the icc's target demographic to promote the test cricket. For countries like Afgan, Nepal or any other developing countries who are doing better in the league games it will be too late implementation of the proposed plan because in these countries there is no money in playing cricket and the players has to let it go before these rules come to implication due to financial situation and who knows how the next generation of cricketer will be like. so ICC should think of implementing these rules ASAP so they can support the talent and prevent it from getting lost.

Posted by Leonb on (January 15, 2014, 22:40 GMT)

@Om Prakash - No 'Real Cricket' is Test Cricket. Oh and I was one of the 67138 at the MCG on Boxing day 2012 to see Aus v Sri Lanka and one of the 39514 who attended the second day also. Also one of the 70068 on Boxing Day 2011 to see Aus v India. I go every boxing day, regardless of who is playing. And if I get to go a few other days also, so much the better.

Posted by jimmy787 on (January 15, 2014, 22:36 GMT)

We already have a 2 tier system. For example, when was the last time Australia played Bangladesh or Zimbabwe? When was the last time India toured Bangladesh?

We already have a 2 tier system, so we might as well admit that a 2 tier system exists, and formalise it.

There is the argument that if a 2 tier system exists then countries like NZ and WI will miss out financially because they won't be able to play teams like India. My response to this is that countries like NZ and WI, if they play well in the second tier, can always get promoted to the top tier where they can play the big countries. It's a lot fairer, because their promotion will be based on performance. After all, cricket is a sport, not a charity.

So how can teams such as NZ and WI make money in the meantime? A much as cricket is a sport, it also needs to be a viable business off the field. That's where marketing and promotion is important, and also ensuring the quality of cricket in these countries is top notch.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 22:28 GMT)

Why is Netherlands not in the running for a Test Cricket spot? They are at least as good as Afghanistan or Ireland

Posted by rickeap on (January 15, 2014, 22:25 GMT)

I don't like this idea...playing the same teams over and over would be boring for spectators, uninspiring for players and would not allow the second tier teams much development

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 15, 2014, 22:17 GMT)

I find reading articles on subjects that I have no interest in really boring, so I do not read them or make comments, because if I did that would be a complete waste of time and it would not get me anywhere, you will never see any comments from me regarding IPL . long live test cricket.

Posted by mohsin9975 on (January 15, 2014, 22:08 GMT)

completely ridiculous to hav tier system. der is already a dearth of good test playing nations nowadays. test cricket will die in nz, wi (if nt dead already) and zim if it is implemented. what if nz beats ind 2-0 in the upcoming series? nz cricket is on the rise nw. we cannot afford to kill cricket in any nation when only 7 good teams exist. if at all such system shd be implemented, it cannot be done unless zim, ban, wi, ire, afg are allowed a chance to improve. not until these nations are properly trained to play the longer format, with the top 4 nations inviting them to play against their A-teams for a period of 4 years starting now. Ban. was rushed into test cricket as india saw an ally & guaranteed support from them in icc meetings. test cricket in zim is dead n needs some more time to revive. firstly, the icc needs to implement the FTP strictly with a 4-year cycle for the 10 nations now to show whose the boss

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 15, 2014, 22:08 GMT)

Great idea, would get rid of passengers like Bangladesh who refuse to respect the best part of the great game.

Posted by scarab666 on (January 15, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

Test match cricket is the pinnacle of the game of Cricket, its however unfortunate that 20/20 cricket is only the preferred game of Indians because of the batting/betting aspects of the game. The crowds that attended the Ashes in the Australia series proved that genuine lovers of cricket played in its true and purist form will watch in record numbers. All other forms of the game are geared towards batting,only the bowlers seem to be punished by the law changes and as MS Dhoni has said ' you may as well replace the bowler with a bowling machine'. I welcome a 2 tier system and it should be applied to all forms of cricket and no one should be exempt from relegation !

Posted by regofpicton on (January 15, 2014, 22:05 GMT)

Looking at this from an NZ viewpoint, it would depend on whether there are 6 or 8 teams in the top rank. If 8 teams the system would have no effect other than to downgrade BD & ZIM - unfortunate indeed. If 6 teams, Marky Summers would be right that Two Tier Tests might at last focus the minds of NZ's cricket administrators, but the effect on our cricket would be calamitous in other ways. Then Tier 2 would comprise WI NZ Zim BD Afgh Scot. Of those only WI could possibly hope to compete with NZ, & we couldn't possibly afford to play only those teams anyway. Consider this: in Test Ratings, the distance from 1.SA to 8.NZ (51 points) is about the same as from 8. NZ to 9.BD (48 points). Also, 6.SL is 1 (ONE) point ahead of 7.WI.

ICC cannot possibly consider dumping WI & NZ (or SL & NZ; or SL & PAK; OR ANY OTHER PAIR OF REAL TEST PLAYING NATIONS) into the pit of effective Associate status.

CONCLUSION: The proposed system is either irrelevant/unfortunate, or utterly disastrous

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 21:55 GMT)

@Om Prakash you're right about Sri Lanka v Australia as against the Ashes but wouldn't more people come to watch Sri Lanka play at the MCG if there was the possibility that one side, or both, might get relegated if they failed to win? It would be a great - and cheap - way of adding context to every Test. The only condition is that it would have to be reciprocal and not just a way on ensuring that Australia-England-India play each other all the time (which I suspect it might be...)

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 21:54 GMT)

completely ridiculous to hav tier system. der is already a dearth of good test playing nations nowadays. test cricket will die in nz, wi (if nt dead already) and zim if it is implemented. what if nz beats ind 2-0 in the upcoming series? nz cricket is on the rise nw. we cannot afford to kill cricket in any nation when only 7 good teams exist. if at all such system is implemented, it cannot be done immediately without offering the fringe nations a chance to improve. the system can only be implemented after ire & afg are properly trained to play the longer format with the top 4 nations inviting them to play against their A-teams for a period for 2 years. but first, the icc needs to implement the FTP strictly with a 4-year cycle for the 10 nations now to show whose the boss.

Posted by Bamber on (January 15, 2014, 21:50 GMT)

I just had a mental picture of Richie Benaud and Tony Greig commentating on Pitch-and-Putt golf: Warl, hair we or Ruchie, Woods & Wistwood et the forst tee; Indeed, Tony, weeeelllll woods tries a cheeky putt here, through the clown's mouth, over the seesaw, avoids the sand trap by the sphinx and it glides gracefully past the hole, into the crocodiles mouth, down the tail and into the sphinx sand trap after all, a mighty fine effort there by Tiger, hey Tony? You're right Ruchie, you can see why he earns the big bucks, I'm so gled we introduced the Indian audience to golf...!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 21:48 GMT)

Manish Garedia. Pakistan has won more test and odi matches against India. Even Pakistan's record against India in India is better. Pakistan has better ratio against away teams then India.

Posted by Cobra0077 on (January 15, 2014, 21:46 GMT)

All these ideas are fine, but, will not solve the real problem. As we have been seeing that in most cases the home team is winning. The reason there is because the pitches are catered to their individual liking and its sad that ICC allows this. In sports the most important thing is that the PLAYING FIELD IS EQUAL TO ALL PARTICIPANTS. Hence, till ICC comes up with a formula to make pitches even barring natural causes, just like the IOC has guidelines to prepare the running track, etc. so that an athlete does not one day have to run on a track that is like a swamp. Then and only then will the playing field be even to all players and further it will help from the match getting boring as a result of dead/flat pitches and at the end it ends in a draw. ICC needs to tackle the real cause/problem & SOLVE THAT PROBLEM and not just put a band aid on it.

Posted by Bamber on (January 15, 2014, 21:38 GMT)

I suspect I'm too late but I like the idea even if it is unrealistic. The sad truth is that it will all be decided by filthy lucre... Until test cricket can generate a wider appeal, many nations will only pay the game lip service. When I tell people I love test cricket and am greeted with confusion or derision I point out that Golf has a similar multi-cutural appeal and there are millions who watch local tour events, increasing to hundreds of millions watching the equivalent of our 'longer form', the 4-day Majors and even the Ryder Cup. Short form Golf such as Trick shot, hole-in-one and even par-3 tournaments have failed so when I then compare T20 to Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood breaking the course record at Margate pitch-and-putt, their eyes clear!!Next week, the highlight of the tour, BLACKPOOL. Talk to golf's marketing people, that's what I say!!

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (January 15, 2014, 21:19 GMT)

ICC should drop Test matches entirely. The only 5 day matches should be England v Austaliia every two to three years.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 21:06 GMT)

So if Eng is relegated to Tier 2 , will that mean no Ashes for a few yrs? Yippee

Posted by abcdef_12345 on (January 15, 2014, 21:00 GMT)

No offense to English and Australian friends.But I must say it is a little annoying to see so much hype about Ashies.Is it nothing else but a bilateral test series between England and Australia.

Posted by IPSY on (January 15, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

@Samincolumbia, Let me excuse your YOUTH! But there was a time when those 4 countries (incl. Pak) were the strongest in the world. That time players like: Imran Khan, Zahia Abbas, Magid Khan, Safarz Nawaz, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir (a better leg spinner than Warne), Wasim Raja, Saleem Malik, and a host of others played for Pak. Most were better than any England has produced to date. They were second only to WI once; but they never sought any discrimination among the countries of the cricketing world. They like the WI realised that there were weak teams and strong teams; and each had to help the other to get up. I don't know where all this prejudice to divide rich/strong teams from poor/weak teams are coming from, when only a handful of teams are involved! Note that in the early days of the ODI WC, it was only the strong teams such as Pakistan that won. Up to now England can't win a single ODI WC tournament, but seeking division! So 2 tiers in T/20 WC also!

Posted by S.Jagernath on (January 15, 2014, 20:24 GMT)

I am not in favour of such a system,I don't believe such a system can work in cricket.What would the second tier playing level be called?Will it be regarded as first class cricket?It can't be the equivalent of test cricket.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 20:15 GMT)

@Chris_P - So what is real cricket? Only Ashes? Lot of people came to MCG on Boxing Day because it was an Ashes test. How many would have come had it been a Test between Australia and Sri Lanka? Don't everybody wants to watch Test Cricket. Even who watch the Test cricket religiously, do so selectively.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 20:13 GMT)

@IPSY..Pak ruled the world LOL....Best Joke of the Year..tell me the era where Pakistan defeated Aus in Aus, WI in WI, Eng in Eng and India in India in a nonstop way or Win Major trophies consecutively..or winning ratio being 80% for more than 3-4 years..Pakistan is and will always be unpredictable decent side..nothing else.

Posted by AamirKhan-SuperStar on (January 15, 2014, 19:57 GMT)

One thing i never understood whatever ICC puts on paper takes more than 5 years to materialise. WTC is scheduled to be held after 4 yrs, total 8 years since the plan was approved. Tier system in one dayers to be implemented in 2019 thats 6 years.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

Will be interested to see whether this happens, with specific regard to player statistics. Does a century from an associate player playing another associate team, I'm say, a relegation match, count as an international century etc...?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 19:49 GMT)

So you are saying teams like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, NewZealand and West Indies will never get a proper chance to play with India or Australia? Where will their board get the money from then?

Posted by Chris_P on (January 15, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, Mate, your entitled to your pov, but not everyone is in the same boat. The Boxing Day test day one saw a world record crowd, that's for any form, day 2 saw a new record for 2nd days of 77,000. Adelaide Test reported a new record for the first 4 days, Brisbane, a record for the first 3 days. So, perhaps for you it doesn't suit, but please don't say "no-one" wants it because clearly, you're wrong. Let's just say some people appreciate real cricket more than others.

Posted by AamirKhan-SuperStar on (January 15, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

Aah no, even i feel this won't work. WTC can still work, have them play a home game and away game against every country with points system based on outright win, first innings lead etc. Add up day night tests in WTC. I feel test cricket has become very competitive in last decade, even draws have been exciting. Its not the test format but ICC thats messed up in their heads.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 19:39 GMT)

Think for this to work ICC would have to make a distinction between membership status and playing status - or better define what is an associate or affiliate member. A test series between say Afghanistan and Bangladesh, or Zimbabwe and Ireland - are contests I'd like to see, because they'd be close. I guess finances are the issue as they would not be commercial successes

Posted by pietime on (January 15, 2014, 19:34 GMT)

@sportsscientist saying test cricket is boring. You shouldn't be apart of these comments. Go and watch some hit n miss 20/20. There have been some amazing games over the last few years. S.A vs Ind, NZ vs Eng draws. Anyway back on the topic. After spending 20mins reading these comments I notice comments backing the 2 tier are people from Ind, Eng etc. Imagine India in 2nd tier. Just leave it all alone and get on with the test champs. I think Ire and Afg are ready for test status. Blimmin 20/20, look what the format is doing. Sounds like people need more and more and more and more.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 19:29 GMT)

I think South Africa should lend a helping hand to the countries on the fringe of Test cricket and organise tours here against our 'A' side. This could only benefit both SA and the emerging countries.

Posted by Temuzin on (January 15, 2014, 19:29 GMT)

Good idea. But have one question. Is Sri Lanka going to be in tier 2 or tier 1? Any guess?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 19:22 GMT)

@somincolumbia really? Oh man! Why did you stop reading their post? Facts are facts.

Posted by P.BIPULKUMAR on (January 15, 2014, 19:09 GMT)

Ireland , Afganisthan want to play test cricket ? Is mouth , mind speak same ? While established test nation reluctant to play test cricket , ICC want to make more test playing nations to demolished test cricket ? Is the future of test cricket safe that why icc want more test nation ? What is the future zimbabwe ? If two tier test teams is to make , should be among ten teams not with afganisthan , Ireland . The world body failed to determine a fixed rules for the domestic FC tournament in every test nation , are asking for international test championship ! it is rediculas . a WTC could be reality if all test playing nation play HOME & AWAY twice in four year time-frame beside FTP . The teams gain highest points in H&A tests (18) for the top two can via for a WTC final ....

Posted by Stup1d on (January 15, 2014, 18:58 GMT)

Get rid of England, problem solved.

Posted by samincolumbia on (January 15, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

@IPSY- I stopped reading your post when you put Pakistan along with AUS and WI as having once ruled cricket!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 18:39 GMT)

Hate everything about this idea. The likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are no worse than the teams South Africa and New Zealand put out in their early days. Nor should they be penalised for their financial difficulties. It takes a long time to build a high-level cricket structure. Nevertheless the tiering system proposed effectively exists, with Ban/Zim playing considerably shorter tours than the rest of the nations. Both need more home tests, longer tours with decent first-class opposition, and time.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 15, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

No matter how you look at it, test cricket is irrelevant in the modern day world. Nobody has the time to sit through 5 days of slow paced, boring cricket. The busy, quick paced world needs quick solutions like in other walks of life. If I need to get to a certain destination, I rather take an express shuttle service from my home to the destination rather than a local transit bus. Test cricket is like a local town bus, T20 is like the express shuttle. You get a game of cricket in 3 hours and a decisive result. Still, if Test cricket is to continue for at least another decade, then this proposal from the ICC needs to be implemented at the earliest. It not only gives relevance to the format, but it also weeds out poor teams from the equation. It also gives those poor teams an incentive to improve and climb to the top rankings. As it stands, Tier 1 should be comprised of SA, IND, AUS, ENG and PAK/SL. Tier 2 should be PAK/SL, NZ, WI, BD, and ZIM. So please make it happen ICC.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

This is a good idea!! They should do this and decide a minimum no of tesrs to be played by each team.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

very good idea, i think it will give teams more of an incentive to play better!!! and something else to play for.

Posted by Caius on (January 15, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

Apropos of the impending abortion of the WTC: if the reason for the ICC's volte-face and decision to abandon plans for the WTC is the reluctance of broadcasters to become involved in the venture, then the tail is indeed wagging the dog (as Ed Smith explains in his incisive article elsewhere on this site). One would be interested to know on what factual basis broadcasters are turning their back on the WTC - why do they believe that it would not be a commercially lucrative proposition? Could anybody perhaps provide statistics on how many viewers watched the recent Ashes and (sadly truncated) SA v India series? How much revenue did these series generate for the broadcasters? One suspects that viewership numbers were quite high. Can anyone provide figures in this regard?

Posted by Azooz-Afgfan on (January 15, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

As an Afghan i believe it's one of the best ideas ICC has ever came up with. Giving Afghanistan and Ireland a taste of test cricket is EPIC! Go for it ICC.

Posted by ARad on (January 15, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

This proposal is illogical re. how it sees PLAYER MOTIVATION. Playing for IPL is a matter of personal gain and a 2-tier system will not change any player to adopt a different attitude towards IPL. If you are a top player who thinks your team may be relegated, you are much better off concentrating in a career in T20 leagues. If you play for a country with poor finances such as SL and if your main source of income is T20 leagues, why would you want to jeopardize it for the future of other players? Unfortunately, a 2-tier system may only affect a younger SL player, for example, since he may not get many chances to (prove or) improve his skills that would make poor teams remain weaker. There will be exceptions but exceptions are only exceptions. This proposal would also make TEST STATS meaningless. ICC should figure out how to make Tests more attractive rather than make adjustments such as this which have REALLY BAD SIDE EFFECTS.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

I hope this will get tests more interesting :)

Posted by GrindAR on (January 15, 2014, 18:03 GMT)

Should not stop on categorizing alone. It should also maintain the standards and policies to downgrade or upgrade the teams based on yearly performances. (Say like div-A and div-B)... (Top 2 divB will enter divA, bottom 2 divA will go into divB every year)

Also the roadmap for the new teams to get into div-B and progress further (not more than 2-3 years window for the elevation based purely on performances).

It will be good to see this happening without any dirty politics.

Posted by Sportsscientist on (January 15, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

All of the people who say two-tier system is not worth it have not presented an argument against it. The first response is "test cricket is boring"......they have not presented an argument for or against a two-tier test system. have they not understood the question, or do they just lack basic common sense???

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 17:50 GMT)

I don't think so. Bangladesh is the next emerging test playing nation better than WI and NZ now-a-days. In near future , BD will be one of the vital cricket playing country in ASIA , even World.

Posted by IPSY on (January 15, 2014, 17:43 GMT)

When WI, Aus, Pak and SA ruled cricket, you never heard any Englishman or Indian calling for separate tiers in the sport. But as those 2 teams in particular, are now in the ascendancy, they're clamouring for special superiority status recognition. Maybe as history shows, one may not be surprised with this attitude of England, but I'm horrified that India who knew nothing about elite cricket status until just recently were the ones who first started to push for this nonsensical idea. I'm also surprised to see my good friend Ian Chappell backing the idea! The idea is bad because, cricket still is only played among a handful of nations - in fact, only 10 have test status. So, unless the relegation process and procedure is still going to see every country playing against each other within the 3 years when the WTC teams are picked, test cricket would die a natural death! Because, in which country would people continue to watch the weakest players year after year; not able to see the best?

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (January 15, 2014, 17:18 GMT)

Essentially, the current test structure should become Tier2 ( all countries not just 2nd and 3rd grade). The select Top 5 teams could become Tier1, that it is competing for WTC. When the Top 5 are in WTC, they should have their 2nd best 11 team should be playing in the Tier2 system. Both Tier2 and WTC can co-exist.

Posted by PratUSA on (January 15, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

It is a great idea if it includes at least top 2 associate nations within the test family. The worst thing in test cricket is when there is no contest between two teams and this will address that. Financially it will have to look into as at the moment series involving teams other than India, England and Australia are losing money. The other thing that's needed is making minimum 3 tests as mandatory for a test series. ICC had adopted 2 tests minimum policy after 1 test series were mushrooming. Now is the time to make it 3 minimum. WTC somehow still needs to be played. It will raise the profile of the game and I think will be financially good for sponsors and broadcasters as well. May be a 3 to 5 match series play-offs or at least a final series will do the trick.

Posted by lazytrini on (January 15, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

I'm a West Indian, and the degree of ineptitude, disorganization, waywardness and carelessness we have demonstrated in the last two decades embarrasses, hurts and irritates me. Forget history, we do not currently deserve a place among the top, and in all reality we are not returning there anytime soon. Moreover, I take the statistics of the greats from the last 15 years with a huge grain of salt. How many otherwise average players for Aus, Eng and SA racked up huge scores or ran through batting lineups because the opposition was poor. There's a reason in cricinfo featured stats there's usually a differentiation between overall numbers and those without Bang & Zim. WI should in all fairness be in that category as well. The tiers make complete sense for tests. Tests can be akin to a League format, while the one day versions operate like the Cup formats, everyone is in and has a chance.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

Well the West Indies team deserves to be on the lower team and I'm sure Ireland and others will give them a run for the money. Good concept from ICC, this might be the saviour for test cricket.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 17:01 GMT)

@Vishal Surana, with your suggestion there is a flaw in that that would mean England would have to drop ODI and T20 home series as it would be practically impossible to fit in 10 Tests in the 4 month window (May-Aug) as that would be 50 days of cricket in 120, by the time you've factored in training, moving around the country its practically impossible to fit in 10 tests per summer, short of grinding players into the ground.

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (January 15, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

Bangladesh should never have received test status. They got it on the sole basis of being lucky in one World Cup competition. Zimbabwe was fine once, when they had the likes of the Flower brothers, Heath Streak, Henry Olonga, Alistair Campbell, Guy Whittaker, Pommie Mbangwa, Murray Goodwin and Paul Strang. But Zimbabwe isn't even close to being a test-calibre team anymore. As cruel as this sounds, perhaps it is time to strip Bangladesh and Zimbabwe of test status. Let them play ODIs and T20s, and play "unofficial tests" until their quality improves. As for the two-tier system, it might work. But it depends very much on the ICC exerting some authority and NOT allowing local cricket boards to scrap test series or have inconsequential two-test series. Sri Lankan cricketers seem to bemoan their lack of tests, but it's their cricket board that canceled a test series with South Africa and West Indies, and reduced a series with England.

Posted by outforhatrick on (January 15, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

Tier system is not a good idea.. We have only 10 test playing nations out of which WI, NZ, ZIM and BD are not very competitive, the 3 subcontinent giants can play well only in home conditions..none of them have won a test series( Odi or T 20 victories should not be considered as success) in AUS and SA, Neither look like winning in near future, only AUS and SA have been truly global teams and for a short while recently ENG too. So the tier system would be a factor only if we have 20 plus competitive teams, we have only 3 Max now...so better ICC takes control of the approved test venues and ensure all the teams play home and away equal matches in a 3 year period in neutral conditions and then award/ reward the top with incentives and the Mace..

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

Its a great idea for the future of test cricket and by bringing the likes of Ireland, Afghanistan and maybe Holland and Kenya (based on their World Cup success in the past)it not only helps the game survive but it expands the game

Posted by PPD123 on (January 15, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

What happens if India gets relegated? The sponsors will start to disappear and money pumped in by all the Indian corporate will stop. Can world cricket survive that situation? Also would we call the matches played by the Tier 2 teams as tests or first class matches? What happens to the records/runs/wickets which players have created against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (assuming they are relegated to Tier 2)? World test championship was a good idea and needs to be pursued. It should be run in the 4 year cycle with the best 2 teams playing home and away for the final championship.

Posted by Fogu on (January 15, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

It could work if the top tier nations can be fair in their dealings. However, we have seen over the last few years, how boards manipulate to get their way (usually for money at the detriment of cricket). I think IRE and AFG should be given test status and ranking should be based similar to ATP as someone suggested. Every series should be a 3-test match series with 3 ODIs and 2 T20 matches. Every nation should be able to complete 6 series' in a 2 year period (8 would be better) with 3 home and 3 away series'. There should be a limit to how many IPL, BBl, CPL, BPL and other T20 tournaments can be hosted in a year or may be every tournament is a bi-annual event. Focus should be on cricket and not money. If cricket is well, money will flow.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

ICC should make sure that each country in top 8 plays 5 match test series with all others in top 8 in span of 4 years. This should be one home and one away series. India playing 2 test match against SA while playing 4 against Aus and Eng is not correct. This should be enforced strictly. Also they should also make sure the grounds used for test matches are of international level with all the facilities which can avoid washout. I am strongly in favor of putting 1 extra reserve day for test matches to complete it or get results. Unless measures are not taken Test cricket will die very soon.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:26 GMT)

Its really great news.. I think ICC officials had already seen craze for cricketing nations like Afghanistan, and Nepal.......

Now its time that there should be atleast 12 test nations, in 2 tiers with 1 team going up and down the tire in every 2 years cycle....Further there should be 8 teams competing on Intercontinental cup and WCL like that happen today....and top of the table goes to Tire 2 of test cricket on the expense of team finishing low on the tier 2 test table....

And there should be 20 nations in T20 world cup, and 16 in ODI world cup...

By this way, senior cricket will reach at-least 20 nations...and make cricket "a popular sport" in the world...

Further, ICC should organize T20 charity matches in venues like Lords, MCG, Eden Eardens etc, to generate money for developing resources for cricket in emerging nations...

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

@Conan17. I like your idea of a two-tier league system, but shouldn't it be like the Top 4 ranked teams in the top league and the rest in the bottom league. Its hilarious how you would rather have Pak (currently ranked 5th) but not India (ranked 2nd) in the top Tier. Come on! and its obvious that you either didn't follow the recent SAvsIND series or you just dont like competitive cricket.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:11 GMT)

Since the year 2000 Bangladesh has played 81 Test matches of which they have won just four. Two wins against a terminally weak Zimbabwe side and two against the West Indies when the latter weren't really trying and cared less.

Over the same period Zimbabwe has played 54 Test matches of which they have won just 8 - 6 against Bangladesh and one each against India and Pakistan.

Neither side in 14 years has given the impression of being Test class - the odd freak result aside. They distort Test cricket's statistics. Both can be decent one day sides but frankly they do not play Test cricket to anything like an acceptable standard. And they never will. To suggest that they be joined by teams like Ireland or Afghanistan is palpable nonsense. Test cricket sides need solid professional cricket bases, an extensive domestic cricket structure, proper venues and above all spectators who want to watch the game.

The two-tier Test match idea is ludicrous foolishness. Let's kill it quietly.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:08 GMT)

Its not a bad idea. It would help bring integrity to the rankings as well. England and Australia, statistically the best two teams in history - play a 5 test series every 2 years. And in comparison, this year India played a 2 test series against the world #1 RSA and will make up the numbers on lesser countries. That's not balanced.

Posted by akshay_heble on (January 15, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

I think the ICC have taken a good decision here. I will be nice if Ireland and Afghanistan who are the two leading associates get a taste of Test Cricket. What I do suggest though is that , they should play with the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe first and then only go on to play the stronger teams.

Also As far as the WTC is concerned what I suggest is that why don't the top 2 nations after the 4 year cycle play a 5 test series across different locations of the world. So each will pay a test each at home and the remaining 3 at neutral stadims. So for eg: Say if India and Australia are in the final, then each will play one test at their respective country and each of the remaining 3 tests can be played in South Africa, West Indies and England, So both the teams will be tested on different pitches varying from swing, pace, bounce and spin. Also with a five test series you are almost guaranteed a winner out of the series.

Posted by Simon.Says on (January 15, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

Bad idea. Good idea would be making sure top 8 teams should play at least once HOME & AWAY series in 4 years.

Posted by Conan17 on (January 15, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

There should be two tiers: Tier one is SA, Eng, Aus plus one other - at the moment Pakistan. Tier Two is SL, WI, NZ, Ind, Ban & Zim It's a waist of time seeing SA v Ind or SA v WI. With the top 4 teams only they can regularly play 5 test series home and away every couple years and would be great to see rather than a 2 test series v Ind who are just trying to get a couple draws!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 15:49 GMT)

Make it simple. 5 top teams and 5 lower the top teams. Simple. The number of games are fixed and does'nt preclude Ashes series or India-Pakistan matches. And end of the year one team from each group swaps places. Fair and square. But I don't think it will happen because that would mean Pakistan, West Indies or Sri Lanka would be out of the top 5 and it also means the possibility that India maybe once relegated. So none is going to budge.

Instead make it 8 teams top and 2 teams lower with BD and ZIM being the lower castes. Who care about their development anyways, let them play with Norway, Ireland, Nepal like teams to develop and spread the (dying) Test Cricket. But, their records would not be counted for stats. So, if Saqib takes 10 Afghan wickets, it would be considered Tier 2 stats.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 15, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

Rereading the article, 2 tiers for test is a ridiculous idea if it already divides the top 8 nations. I thought it was 2 tiers for test where the top 8/9 are in one bracket and other nations (ireland, Afghanistan, etc) were in the 2nd tier. Imagine the practicality of dividing the top 8 nations in 2 tiers. The 1st tier would have been Aus, SA, Eng, and India. The 2nd tier would be SL, WI, Pak, and NZ. Nobody would ever accept that the stats from 2nd tier countries are comparable to the 1st tier countries because they would claim that they "played against easier opposition". If this was done 15-20 years ago, nobody would have ever recognized the brilliance of players like Lara, Murali, Sangakkara, Martin Crowe, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Mohammad Yousuf, etc etc since they would have been from the lower Tier. All those players were among some of the greatest in Test cricket, yet the rest of their team always let them down and they ended up on the losing side....

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 15:35 GMT)

Test cricket is dead but for a few countries: India always, England, South Africa and Australia. Others should not apply nor should other countries be allowed to siphon welfare checks just because. Even the likes of Pakistan, SL, WI and NZ should focus on T20 at let it be. Cricket has to evolve quick and become a T20 consumer focused and supported sport for it to grow. Anything other than a 3 hour format is a waste of money because all it does is become a money pit.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (January 15, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

2 tier test cricket will make statistics useless.Please don't do it.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 15:30 GMT)

Test cricket is boring. ODI cricket is more entertaining.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 15, 2014, 15:26 GMT)

I think for the moment, 2 tiers of test cricket is the best way to go. Each tier should include 10 teams. The top 2 teams of Tier 2 should play the bottom 2 teams of Tier 1 in a 3 (or 5 match) Test Series to see if any will move up/stay where they are for the next 4 years. At the same time, the top 4 teams in the Tier 1 should undergo 2 parallel series in which Number 1 vs Number 2 occurs in a neutral venue and Number 3 vs Number 4 occurs in a neutral venue. If such a thing is done every 4 years, the winner of the Number 1 vs 2 can be crowned the "Test Champion". By allowing 2 tiers of cricket, we also allow a VAST amount of countries to play cricket and enhance their development. Players in Ireland/Netherlands are not going to get any better by just waiting around playing no games. This will also spread cricket to the world. Later, we can have a 2nd tier for ODIs and T20's as well.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 15:23 GMT)

The best format for test matches... 1. 8 teams should participate in world group. 2. Each team will play 3 home and 3 away test matches against each other. 3. In 4 years every team will play 42 matches each. 4. Every test match will be a championship match and team will get points as... 5. Win at home = 1 point 6. Win away = 2 points 7. Draw at hom = 0 point 8. Loss at home = -2 points 9. Loss away = -1 point 10. Draw away = 1 point At the end of 4 years top 2 teams will play the final of test championship. Lowest rank team (Number 8) will go in the group 2 and the champion team from group 2 will come in world group. Format of group 2 will be same but there matches will only be called as first class match. ICC can contact with me as I have so many ideas Regards, Mohammad Tariq

Posted by Philly.rocks on (January 15, 2014, 15:16 GMT)

Given the up and down of India, Eng, I honestly think its not that far, we will see both of these teams in Tier 2, fighting for promotion. I know lots of fans will disagree this. But remember 90's where team Eng was always matter of joke when they travel sub-continent and similarly, team India was greater joke when they traveled outside sub-continent.

Posted by ShahbazSalamat on (January 15, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

I think test cricket rules should be changed now....there win or lose no draw at all ....ICC should makes rules no draw option win or lose so the players play proper cricket and play for win rather waste time of the viewer.....

Posted by crick_wizard on (January 15, 2014, 15:13 GMT)

Day/night tests need to be introduced asap for the majority of the audience to atleast watch some part of the test. With at least 3 days of a test played on weekdays, its hard to expect people to take time off their commitments and watch the match. The reason IPL is so successful is not just its format, but the fact that it is played during prime time. Also pitches should be made more competitive to ensure a good contest between bat and ball. Unfortunately boards are more interested in extending a test to the 5th day for maximum review, but they need to realize that in the long run, quality and not quantity is what is required for commercial success and to prevent tests from dying a slow death..

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

The ICC has some time to pass before the World T-20 is to take off. Don't take it seriously. The only thing interesting about the suggestion is that the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan might get to play test cricket. I think they should give these 2 countries test status, and get them to play the likes of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, New Zealand and West Indies more regularly, with a match or 2 here and there with the other sides for the first 10 years. But nothing is going to happen.......

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (January 15, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

Not sure why there is a debate on whether Tier2 or WTC. It both can happen. With Tier2, Tier1 teams will be cut down to size, resulting in more possibility of WTC happening.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (January 15, 2014, 14:43 GMT)

India, Australia, England and South Africa are permanent in Division One with 2 other spots for grabs. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Windies and Zim in Division 2. 4 tests for each tour. Maximum two tours every year for 3 years. The 4th year should be Test World Championships. ODIs cannot exceed the number of tests played. T20 not played at international level.

Posted by inswing on (January 15, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

Scraping of the Test Championship is a terrible idea. Test cricket badly needs context. A trophy, a target, an achievement. See how in ODIs teams plan years ahead for the world cup, and proudly remember their championships and finals appearances. Simply giving more money to the #1 team does not do anything. The two-tier system is a good idea, but that has effect only on the last one or two teams. The rest of it is still a random series of Tests without context. The two-tier system cannot and will not replace the Test Championship. In any popular sport - football, basketball, tennis, golf, racing, badminton, etc. - the goad is always to win certain trophies and tournaments, not to simply get some ranking. Test cricket is the only one that lacks that, and unfortunately will not get it.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

There should be a two tier tests as proposed. Anyone below top 4 at a cut-off date should play the second tier teams. Then there should be cut-off dates for top 4 for the WTC. The bilateral test series should also have 3-5 T20Is but no ODIs. Scrap the ODI world cup and instead have Champions Trophy. Both tier teams should have a shot at it by playing because of the rankings. Only top 8 teams should be considered for the CT. There should be tri-nation or 4-nation ODI tournaments when the teams are not busy in any bilateral series. As for the T20Is there should be a WC. 16-20 should be allowed to participate and all the teams should play qualifying before that regardless of the rankings. Imagine PNG qualifying but NZ missing out. If ICC truly wants to make the game global and make money at the same time then they should read this and give me my cut.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

This idea is good and if it happens England's idea of stealing Irish players will be hit for a six! :P If Ireland and Afghanistan are given test status to the lower division in this way, then cricket, specifically test cricket will become more popular. So go for it...

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

People who suggest NZ and WI should be put in tier 2 are kidding themselves, NZ has dominated against teams away where other teams struggled against Australia, and SL and even challenged SA and England. Did people forget India almost lose to WI in WI and IND only managed to be NZ for the first time ever in 2009. Placing NZ and WI in tier 2 will only destroy other teams, Or otherwise have 4-teams in each tier and top 1 and bottom 1 in each tier gets swapped and forms the new tier if they want more competitive games... but i dont see the point, NZ has fought really close matches against major oppositions, test cricket is exciting when we see NZ play why should they be separated away from the major 4 teams?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 14:30 GMT)

@BRUTALANALYST Others complaining about small number of tests in a series, you seem to forget that there are a number of factors. For example in order for the ECB to meet the FTP requirements they need to play 2 Test series at home each year. the english Test summer starts in May and ends in August, thats 120 days to fit in 8 tests, with training and travel, each test takes 8 days, thats a total of 64 days, then add on the ODI's and T20's, you are closing in on 100 days of cricket, in 120 days, it cant be moved ealier as we have to make way for the IPL, and playing ODI's in sep hasnt been a success either.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (January 15, 2014, 14:30 GMT)

I absolutely well come the idea of 2 Tier cricket. The obvious reason is for the "other" countries to play test cricket. The bonus I think is that the Tier 2 should be allowed to have the 2nd Tier team from the Tier 1 countries. I.e, India, SA, AUS, ENG, PAK, SL, NZ, and WI will have a 2nd Tier team ( or some of them) to compete with the Tier 2 teams. This will improve the quality of test cricket. This also provides more chances for players to participate in Test Cricket. It is not easy to be one of the 11 test cricketers among one billion in India, for example.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 14:23 GMT)

There's no need for two divisions or even world test championship play-offs, though some kind of play-off would be good. Cricket just needs to study how the ATP ranks tennis players and how golfers get their world rankings. That way everyone gets a ranking even though particular players never play each other or even enter the same tournaments. If applied to cricket it would mean every country had a ranking without playing every other country and thus both relieve fixture congestion and allow more countries into the test structure at the same time. It seems complicated but it's probably quite easy to do. Each country could concentrate on playing the other countries nearest to them in the rankings plus their nearest neighbours and their traditional rivals over a reasonable series of matches, eg 3, 4 or 5 match series..

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 15, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

@ Jigar_Shah Wrote "Read Ed Smith's article - it is awesome. He really hit a six by saying that Media and Broadcasters control Cricket now - instead of being the facilitators."

Dead right. I worked in broadcast for years, and the content is meaningless. The focus is whether the producers deliver a "product" that attracts a rating that generates $$$$. Media companies pursue PROFIT - the content is meaningless, the content is merely a vehicle for making money.

Unfortunately, the cricket boards have become driven by the same motivation. It is all about money, about using the sport to make the rich even richer.

Posted by SL_rockz on (January 15, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

Sri lanka should be in first tier....

Posted by RajuSalvi on (January 15, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

Idea of some fair Test or One Day or T20 ranking or championship..

Assume 8 test playing nations are there. So each nation will play a match of Test, one day, T20 in its own country as well in the country of the opposing team within a year.

So in a year there will be 14 tests, 14 one day & 14 T20 matches against each nation's name.

These matches to be arranged in such a season that there will not be obstruction on account of rain or bad weather.

This type of competition gives fair idea to rank the topmost team in test, one day & T20 respectively at the end of the year on completion of the required matches.

Similar point systesm can be alloted eg 1. Win 2 points 2. Loss 0 points 3. Tie or draw 1 point each

Posted by devil_in_details on (January 15, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

The two Tier structure is even worse idea than the World Test Championship. At the moment the only matches which make money are which involve India, England and Australia. Thus the lower ranked Test nations like WI, NZ, Bangla and Zim will be stuck in a downward spiral of monetarily unviable Test series with each other. Ergo we will see more test series being shortened and these teams will digress not progress. The real solution to making Test cricket competitive is this (i) first recognize that a healthy T20 and ODI structure is needed which should then cross subsidize Test cricket , (ii) invest in facilities of poorer cricket economies (iii) have more test matches between top ranked and bottom ranked test teams- i can remember when India last played Bangla, Zim (iv) reduce bilateral ODIs and have at least 3 test series.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Two-tier system is not needed in my opinion. Let bilateral tours happen but keep the WTC. Instead of the top four advancing, have a qualifiers with equal number of tests for all nations (including associate, emerging, etc.). Can you imagine football getting popular in the U.S. or African nations without WC qualifiers? If football had the ICC system, we would just have a Europe/South America Cup. Make WTC and CWC really "international" by having certain number of nations from each continent (obviously commonwealth nations will qualify but new nations will be introduced from new regions for cricket).

Posted by philvic on (January 15, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

I dont think the threat of relegation to no-test playing status is helpful. I think weaker sides like Ireland and Afghanistan should be given Test status but there schedules should reflect there performance - ie the lower ranked sides should play each other more often than they play top rank sides and vise versa. Unfortunately, the schedule is more determined by financial considerations than by performance quality which is why we get interminable ENG v AUS series but relatively little of the top ranked team. In any case, recent events have shown that bilateral scheduling arrangements will always trump long range programming so trying to centrally construct a long range plan for Test cricket will probably fail.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 15, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

@ Zeshan Ali writes "personally i think T20 is best for audience short and exciting but these test matches are just a waste of time where people have to watch the match for five days and i bet there is no one on earth who would watch every single ball of a test match and it gets drawn at the end."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. I watched every ball of the India/SA 1st test - a remarkably exciting game - & it ended in a draw. So what - it was fantastic to watch, & as a Saffa, I enjoyed it far more than either of the ODI games SA won.

If you cannot appreciate the long game, and like the short format, fine for you.

Some of the the very best test matches I have watched ended in draws - India/SA at Newlands, 2010/11. The famous Tendulkar/Steyn duel. Kallis' two centuries, one in each innings, played with broken ribs!

For me, no T20 comes close. I live in the USA - I can watch baseball.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (January 15, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

How can they get countries to play even number of Tests ? right now Eng Aus India play loads of 5 and 4 game series whilst W.I PAK SL seem to be playing 2 or3 max and even cancelling Tests. Just look at Al Cook has reached 100 games in what 7 yrs ? Chanderpaull been playing since 1992 and just reached 150 ! This is main issue that needs to be addressed more test cricket for those outside the top 3 and less ECB/BCCI meddling. We all know nothings going to change sadly.

Posted by Stark62 on (January 15, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

The only way to rekindle interest in test cricket, is to evenly share the amounts of Test cricket played.

More Tests for a nation, more competitive they get and the better they are; more fans will start to follow or come back to the format.

Truth is, no one wants to pay to watch, their team being mauled but how can a team improve, if they play 4-3 Tests?!?!

Remember, some players are Test specialists and the only way they can remain at the top of their game, is to play as many tests as they can but how do you do that, with only 3-4 Tests per year?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

This new system is both practical and intresting. If implemented correctly i.e. with a must-follow schedule, proper support for less able teams, it can result in the revival of test cricket. Matches like Zimbabve vs Bangladesh etc. would certainly be much more followed if they result in promotion/relegation. Morever with rules like . first inning lead bonus, win by 10 wickets etc each individual match would become more decisive. Sorry to hear about the WTC. Would have been an exciting even if its possible now.....

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (January 15, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Bottom line is $ we can theorize and suggest all these ideas but unless there is serious $ ibehind it t's not going to work. You can't compete with the IPL unless there is serious $ incentive behind Test cricket especially for the sides outside the top4 who mostly come form humble backgrounds with lil $ for even representing the nation.

Posted by David_Boon on (January 15, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Terrible, terrible idea. Just the rich getting richer. I don't need to see Australia play England every year. Nor do I need to see India making things up as they go and getting what they want, when they want. I can't even remember the last time New Zealand or Pakistan or the West Indies came to Australia. Why do we need to make more money anyway? To pay more bureaucrats, officials and backroom staff? In the recent Ashes seeing twice as many Australian coaches as players was just a joke.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 12:58 GMT)

I think this is a bad idea, in particular if it ends in a situation where series like Aus V NZ or Ind V SL no longer take place. These are important series on a regional basis and help keep the game strong. What a great pity Pakistan and India don't play each other!

What I'd much rather happen is for the two top teams from the Intercontinental Cup to be given temporary Test status in each two year cycle. These two teams would then get home and away test series against the bottom two or three ranked teams as well as continuing to play in the intercontinental Cup in order to qualify for test status over the next period. This would give ALL associate nations hope of reaching test status and also ensure that teams like NZ and SL that rely strongly on traditional series for survival can continue on their merry way. Full test status would continue to be awarded on merit.

At the end of the day we already have a two-tier system in place anyway, it's just not written down on paper anywhere!

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 15, 2014, 12:58 GMT)

This is what exactly most of our writers suggested including me long time back. Test cricket will be more exciting and can avoid the difference in quality between opponents. For eg: SL not able to win a test in India, Australia etc. But if BD and NZ play against SL regularly, they have a chance to beat SL even at SL. So, ICC should place teams in to two groups and last placed team in group 1 should play against tire 2 teams to secure its place. @ThilankaK. India were top5 teams always (even in their worst performances). Everybody knows who is placed just above WI! (thanks to NZ)

Posted by The_Millinator on (January 15, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

Yesssss! Great news! Come on ICC, please do this - this is exactly what Test cricket needs. As an Irishman, there is an extra benefit too of course!

Posted by John-Price on (January 15, 2014, 12:52 GMT)

It won't happen. Test cricket cannot afford to see England, India or Australia relegated - and, sooner or later, it would be bound to happen (probably to England).

As for the play off idea, am I the only one who has noticed that test matches some times finish in a draw?.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 12:43 GMT)

@pietime, I think the split is critical, and personally believe a 2 tier system of 8 teams in each tier is the best solution, as it fits in with a 4 year cycle and allows the test championship and relegation/promotion competitions to take place as well as allowing gaps for a 50 over WC and T20 world cup to be played every 4 years with minimal disruption.

In order to get the playing standards of the lower tier up A-teams from the top tier play them, but without having the benefit of being promoted, so if the teams in the bottom tier cant beat the majority of A-teams the cant get promoted.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 12:37 GMT)

Ideally, there should be top six test playing nations who play matches against each other. Also there should be a bottom six out of which top two get to play matches against the top 6 in which case the top 6 will tour their country(the 2nd tier) and thereby help generate interest and more importantly, CONTEXT for the game. This will also enable healthy competition in the bottom tier as teams will compete for the top two spots. Apart from all this, apart from the actual game, the top six should contribute to developing cricket in the 2nd tier through coaching support, technical support, A tours etc.

Posted by shane-oh on (January 15, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

@Sunil Daswaney - the problem with that is that you are basing your tiers on current rankings, which aren't really relevant in terms of long term test success. You also haven't included England in any tier. Lastly, your suggestions are clearly rather Asia-centric. This idea will take some time to implement - by which time the current fleeting rankings would like have shifted sizeably. Would there by any logic to relegating a team to some silly "second tier" despite them succeeding in the format in the years leading up to it? What if New Zealand were to beat India in their upcoming series? Would you suggest that India and NZ swap tiers? Didn't think so.

Regardless, the idea is terrible in the sense that it will be the final nail in the coffin for test cricket in whichever teams are arbitrarily relegated. We know the decisions will be made based on revenue rather than performance, so essentially we would be saying we want tests to be played by less nations. Disastrous idea this.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (January 15, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

Why simply complicate things? Simple solutions like making tests to 90 over max/inng.,4 days and play d/n test in colour jersey ala odi/t20 will work well just DRS is making positive impact now.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 12:25 GMT)

If you go for a promotion relegation system, it needs to be an annual one which will even out financial peaks and troughs for the cash strapped nations. Abolish test series, make it round robin home and away like Sheffield Shield.

Posted by keptalittlelow on (January 15, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

Very few countries in the world play cricket, ICC should adopt policies which help the survival of this sport, and that will only happen if the present following is retained and even increased. Comparing Cricket with football league system may not be the best solution for Cricket.

Posted by LukeshNaidoo on (January 15, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

I agree with a two tier system, however, there needs to be a way to hype up each match as well prevent a gap in performance between the two tiers. Also, I don't think promotion/relegation should come down to one match/ play offs. It should be decided over a teams entire performance over a specific time period

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 12:06 GMT)

that will be better 6 teams groups should be made. Tier 1 will include saffa australia eng india srilanka and pakistan . tier 2 will include Nz WI Ban Zmb Ire and 6th team may be Afgganistan . They shud play for 2 years with group teams and at the end of 2 years time 2 teams from top group last ranked shud go to tier 2 and vice versa . Every team will then play test matches seriously

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

The idea sounds good but lots of questions are unanswered. Firstly teams like teams like NZ, WI, SL and PAK rely on games against the big 3 for funding (ENG,AUS and INDIA). With PAK vs INDIA being an exception as they no longer play against each other. Given that these teams are more financially vulnerable their state will suffer significantly when they are unable to play games against the big 3. So how do we ensure that they don't suffer significantly financially. Secondly with teams in top 4: India lost 4-0 in AUS and ENG, but beat AUS 4-0 at home, while AUS beat ENG 5-0 at home but lost 3-0 in ENG. So by having a 2 tier system are we really making test cricket more competitive when home team tends to dominate in games involving top 4, with exception being a touring SA side. So while there are obvious positives in 2 ties system, there are also flaws that need to be addressed through good execution. Failure to do so will cause significant damage to test cricket.

Posted by bampok on (January 15, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

ESPN being one of the broadcasters, please save the test championship... It was such a good idea to promote the original format of the game to a new level... the viewership will come in if the matches are interesting and have a purpose beyond a bilateral series.... the shorter formats of the game are really dull as compared to the tests...

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

It's really great decision by ICC to make test cricket in a same platform for all cricket loving nations like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:47 GMT)

If the regulartest countries go on diversions why should there by a Future Tours Programme - The ICC has become a toothless body particularly against India because of the money making BCCI - Now any test playing country can alter schedule and play against chosen countries as per their whims and fancies and the ICC has become a mute spectator - it has no guts even to speak about diversions let alone stop such diversions - C Keshava Murthy

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:42 GMT)

The premier league teams from Manchester United to Cardiff City play 38 matches throughout a season. Will Cricket ever see a time when India and Zimbabwe will play same amount of tests in a year?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

The Champions throphy was nice and it would be nice if it returns

Posted by pietime on (January 15, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

I crack up how all you people think your idea of how a test championship should work. Anyway I'm a kiwi and I think for us and the West Indies who are ranked 7-8 would financially struggle from this sort of decision being in a 2nd tier group. It would potentially be the death of cricket in both country's. No disrespect to Zim, Afg, Ire cricket, I know that I would rather see teams like India, S.A, Eng, Aus touring our country, like they have been doing for decades. If we had tours for the next 4 years of teams in the 2nd tier that would have little public interest. Also what happens if India come last in the first tier and have to drop down. Any of you people thought about that and the financial ramifications of the top 3 money teams, India, Aus, Eng. It would be disastrous.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

It has been suggested before that the growth of T20 cricket, an exciting format with potential world wide appeal, would force the old man(Test Cricket) into retirement. Its a sad reality of our fast paced time that Test Cricket does not appeal to a younger generation distracted in so many ways. The future of the game of gentlemen lies in it being compacted into either a 4 or 3 day format. I aso feel ticket prices should be looked at and possibly reduced to attract people back to games and make it all more interactive to appeal to younger folk. Can see some pros making some cash on the side as well.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

I agree completely with this new format.It's no fun watching BD and ZIM against any Test team.The first tier should have :AUS-SA-IND-SL &PAK. The 2nd should have:WI-NZ-BD&ZIM There should be promotions and demotions based on teams' performances.

Posted by Bones87 on (January 15, 2014, 11:32 GMT)

There needs to be something done to make the ranking mean something. What I want to see is the top test teams playing longer series, only the Ashes is 5 test matches (and England v India this year unless India decides they don't want to play 5 matches).

Why are South Africa, the best team in the world playing 3 match series against England and Australia a couple of years ago? That was 1 v 2! and it's not 5 tests? ICC need to start getting it right somehow, and if it has to be a division system then fine, but I can't see it changing anything apart from totally pointless series like anything involving Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

Posted by SagirParkar on (January 15, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

a few others on cricinfo and I had spoken about the promotion-relegation system at least 5 years ago as a means to bring in some degree of context to test matches and provide teams with an incentive to strive towards better performance..

Finally the ICC sees sense and is taking steps towards it.. if it successfully goes ahead, i see no reason why teams like Ireland and Afghanistan cannot be given test status.. that way they can at least get regular test expsore, albeit against lower ranked test teams. Nonetheless it will help their improvement and prove their mettle. the likes of Boyd Rankin can once again be test players that way..

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

Instead of this division I would like to suggest the major/senior countries to play their 'A'teams with these junior teams. This will enable the junior teams tour the major test playing countries and have the right exposure.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

West Indies cricket will be officially dead.No regrets.About time .Fire Everybody and start afresh.The governments of the Caribbean should nominate personnel to lead this charge.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

Sri Lanka will be licking their lips at this. Even more bad teams that they can pad their artificial stats against.


Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

I think tiered cricket would work in the sense that say top 6 teams make tier I and each country must play each other home and away in a minimum of 3 tests. Also they must play at least 2 teams in tier II in the same 4 year period. That way you'll never lose the Ashes for example, even if say one team is #1 and the other is #7. But you won't have pressure to play every test nation home and away. Also it means promotion to the second tier is possible and maybe even a third non-test tier to be promoted into the top 12 test teams.

But the real issue is while tests make money and get huge rating in England and Australia, maybe also South Africa, the big money is in T20 and thus TV will push that rather than tests. Maybe day night tests could help it in the countries where test cricket isn't as popular.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

Good idea. It will create a wider interest in the game of cricket itself.

Posted by Mervo on (January 15, 2014, 10:52 GMT)

Good for Cricket. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh would obviously be in the second tier, but would press those nations in the lower part of the first tier.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 10:51 GMT)

@wapuser, I see your point, and thats why you would keep the 8 original test nations (exc BD and Zim), in the top tier.

You could place the A-teams in the bottom tier in order to help the lower teams develop and play in differnt conditions its also helps the top tier develop cricketers. If a Full strength Lower tier team cannot defeat the majority of top tier A-teams then they dont deserve to be considered to be in the top tier.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

I agree with this idea whole heartedly. Firstly, any true cricket lover would love the idea over a World Test Championship. It's just sad to see that the broadcasters are so greedy, because they know how much money T20's and ODI's bring. Clearly they have no love for the game, just love for the money. Secondly, The idea of giving Ireland, Afghanistan and others a shot at player test cricket will be astronomical for the game! We could see the game of cricket growing drastically. Test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket and should be played by all nations. The idea of promotion/ relegation is perfect!!!!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

i think it should be play in legs system away and home in top 8 teams divide in two groups in four years in the end top two teams vl play the final ...and final vl play in uae type place to totally exclude the home thing advantage to some1....

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

How many people want to work hard if there is an easier option? How many of the current and future generation like the classics? Similarly, it will be foolhardy to compete against the like of IPL. But there are takers for test cricket still. Already the cricket world is saturated with cricket overdose. No way can it match the popularity of soccer. Maybe Cricket should look at how Hockey was spread.

Two-tiers is a good idea. Maybe use the existing format of test cricket matches and award points. Maybe do away with T20 between countries. ODIs should be tri-series and not long.

Posted by Shariful-Islam on (January 15, 2014, 10:44 GMT)

@Paddy Briggs: Do you follow the match of BD and ZIM ? I think, you never follow.

Last year, BD played 6 test and 8 ODI with ZIM, SL & NZ. Let consider SL & NZ match only,then 4 test and 5 ODI. BD have lost one and drawn 3 test. But BD won 4 and lost only one ODI. BD have won 80% against top 8 in ODI. 1st Test agaist NZ, BD on top. NZ 469 & 287/7 and BD 501 & 173/3. In SL, BD scored 638 against SL.

Last year, ZIM played 6 test and 14 ODI with BD, IND, PAK & WI. Let consider IND, PAK & WI only, then 4 test and 11 ODI. ZIM have lost 3 test, But have won 1 test against PAK. In ODI, ZIM have won one match aginst PAK.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:39 GMT)

Please dont destry test cricket like this, let it be how it is. Its perfect! If ICC wants to give chance to teams like Ireland or Afghanistan, let them crawl in and learn like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, New Zealand did or doing.

Posted by globalcricketfan on (January 15, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

Excellent Idea,Well done ICC

Posted by pardo on (January 15, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

At last! Five teams per division - that way you can have a four year cycle of home and away tests - proper 5 test series in Div 1, three in Div 2. Also Div 1 teams play two tests against a Div two team each year - 1 home 1 away. Div 2 teams play a Div three team every year on same basis. Ie Div 1 teams play 12 tests a year, Div 2 play 8 test and 2 "Associate Tests" (assuming Div 3 teams don't have test status).

Would personally also love to see a "Div 2 XI" play tests in Div 1 occasional but can't see how to fit into schedule. Would allow great players from Div two teams (eg, in the 80s that would have been the likes of Hadllee and Aravinda de Silva) to play the best on a regular basis. A similar deal for Div three teams.

Posted by malepas on (January 15, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

The problem facing most test nations that there is already a FTP system in place which is being floated again and again by 3 big boards in favour of financial gains and in some cases to show its muscles, I think if we make it mandatory for each test playing nation to play each other at least 2 series, one home and one away every 2 years period, min of 3 tests, the standard will rise. the associate teams should get more incentives by playing at least one 3 day match against a visiting test team i.e, Afghanistan or Ireland can play a 3 day first class match against a visiting English team in Australia or against SA in India etc, this will raise their standard and experience, so they will get certain points for each win or draw or deduction if they lose, and once they touch certain points in 2 years period, they get to play 2 tests series with the bottom of elite test nations and if they win that, they will get a full status or they go back to play within their group again. comments plz

Posted by Mr.Infinity on (January 15, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

My Format would be...

T20 WC : 32 Teams, 8 groups of 4 teams. 2 Teams each group qualify for pre-quarters. T20 Qualification : continent based open qualification system, every registered country can try.

ODI WC : 16 Teams, 4 groups of 4 teams. 2 Teams each group qualify for quarters. ODI Qualification : all teams with T20I status can attempt to qualify. Continent based quota.

Tests : 12 Teams, 2 groups of 6 teams each. Relegation system in place no world championship. Test Mace will be given each year end to best team in top group.

Bottom 2 teams of Top group will play against top 2 teams of bottom group and finalists of this 4 way clash get to play in top group.

Bottom 2 teams of Bottom group has to battle against challengers from ODI teams to keep their Test status.

This way they can maintain competitiveness as well as growth of game.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 15, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

For what it's worth, I view this putative two division of TC as a complete non-starter for a battery of reasons. First, whatever the ICC execs decide/vote on/ adopt as policy hardly ever ends up being carried out unless India is on board. If India doesn't want it, it doesn't happen (cash-strapped boards form an orderly queue here!). Secondly, the degree of non-commitment of a number of countries to playing TC. WI is practically allergic to it; SL & Bangla much the same - and India, luke-warm at best. NZ would like to be in favour of TC, but has so little money to play with. Pakistan is currently limited to using the UAE for 'home' fixtures and there is a climatic imperative about when TC can be played in the Gulf (Nov-Feb). How many empty stadiums would you like? So, why has this 'news' been released? IMO, it is a clumsy attempt to deflect criticism away from announcing the scrapping of the WTC. Neither will happen. The ICC seldom has any good or workable ideas. More chai, anyone?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

@flickspin, the problem with your system is that you would get some teams inviting lesser teams longer series and higher ranked teams for few test series, Imagine Aus playing a 5 test series against Ireland and only 3 against England, you would have to put a cap on the number of series played agasint each team and strict rules so that this couldnt happen, and it did happen in the early days of the rankings where some teams would play lower ranked teams more than higher ranked ones as they gained more points.

as with all suggestions the way the current ICC points are calculated is the elephant in the room without reforming it to a typical League points system based on wins it has no meaning.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

@flickspin, the problem with your system is that you would get some teams inviting lesser teams longer series and higher ranked teams for few test series, Imagine Aus playing a 5 test series against Ireland and only 3 against England, you would have to put a cap on the number of series played agasint each team and strict rules so that this couldnt happen, and it did happen in the early days of the rankings where some teams would play lower ranked teams more than higher ranked ones as they gained more points.

as with all suggestions the way the current ICC points are calculated is the elephant in the room without reforming it to a typical League points system based on wins it has no meaning.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:19 GMT)

Unashamedly a fan of this would actually make EVERY series worthwhile while also providing a pathway to test cricket for associates. A no brainer which probably means it won't happen :(

Posted by King Maker Niraj on (January 15, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

why cant icc stop ODIs play test cricket & t20s every year about 130+ ODIs are played while 30 odd test matches & 40 odd t20Is ,there is no difference between ODI and T20 stop odis

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

Sub standard teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have undermined the credibility of Test cricket for too long. They distort Test records, get few spectators and have no longer form of the game domestic structure to underpin their Test status. To add to their number would be preposterous. If they want to play five day matches (why would they ?) let Afghanistan and Ireland do so but don't pretend that they are Test matches. If you want to kill off the ailing Test match format for good a sure way to commit would be to destroy its uniqueness by lowering standards in this way.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (January 15, 2014, 10:15 GMT)

Where will the money come from? The impetus for money in things like IPL is the fans. A NZ v England series is unlikely to bring the same sort of money.

And what happens to test averages?

I do hope a lot of thought goes into this and the right people are working on it (ie, not administrators)

Posted by stormy16 on (January 15, 2014, 10:12 GMT)

I dont see a two tier system working as I think it's unfair on the lower tier countries in terms of development and opportunity to play against the best in the world. How do you expect these lower tier teams and players to improve if they dont play against the best teams. Also if you pool Aus, Eng and SA in to the top tier (which will be the case) how do you expect the other teams to get used to seaming and bouncy conditions? I dont think its the best for test cricket which is being able to test your skills against all conditions and all test playing nations.

They best way forward is to create an equal playing field giving every team the same opportunity for a home and away series within a specified time and tallyiing up the points. For example you cant Eng and Aus play a 10 test Ashes series in the same year other nations struggle to play a total of 10 tests. Neither can you have India play 5 test series while SL only plays 2 test series. The idea is applicable to all other sports.

Posted by vishal71440 on (January 15, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

Two Tier Test Cricket is good call by the ICC, but they should provide a good threshold for teams to be promoted or relegated. My idea of Tiers are 1) Not fixing the number of teams in each tier, rather have a rating point as threshold between two tiers. E.g. Lets take rating point 95 as threshold, thus any teams having rating 95 or above should be tier 1 team and rest tier 2. 2) Test series between both teams from either tier 1 or tier 2 should not be less than 3. 3) For test series between teams from different tier can be kept to 2. 4) Test Series between two adjacent ranked teams should not be less than 4. 5) Within 4 or 5 years of time period, two teams from any tier should play each other in two test series(one home and one away). This should make sure that teams play almost equal no. of tests in home and away conditions thus making ICC ranking more meaningful.

Lastly, I would welcome any addition or change to this idea from my fellow readers.

Posted by wapuser on (January 15, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

Well, this proposal could work very well for sides like Ireland and Afghanistan. I am in it's favour.

Posted by wapuser on (January 15, 2014, 10:05 GMT)

If the ICC do this wrong it could radically alter the nature of test cricket. For example, if the first division didn't include almost all the current test playing nations Australia might have found itself facing relegation in the last two years. What of the Ashes then? What if England keep sinking? Does it mean my daughter in NZ won't get to see India or South Africa tour? No Zimbabwe tour to blood new players? No more upsets by Bangladesh? They keep saying test cricket is dying. Is it? I think its pretty damn good right now

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:04 GMT)

I have known this to be the answer for some time now. This is exactly what Nz needs to start playing their test cricket seriously. It'll also mean administrator's roles (and coaches) will be on the line if teams drop out of the top division

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 15, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

Excellent idea. Implement it post haste

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

Why bother having all this debate? Go back to when Test Cricket was watched by millions around the world and it was left up to the debates in clubs and pubs around the world as to who was the best side. Everyone knows SA is the best side in the world at the moment; we'll also know when they're not. We know Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are rubbish - everyone else in between is of similar standard on their day. Promotion / Relegation or a Test Championship will not make one iota of difference to anyone watching Test Cricket.

Posted by wapuser on (January 15, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

We ll be deprived of great upsets in test cricket with no more chance for minnows to hunt higher ranked test nations.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

@Herath-UK, in that case whats the point of a 5 test series if 2 tests dont count, except to raise money for the home board, if the number of points was on a per test win, and bonus for series win it would encourage more 4/5 test series to be played.

One defining factor in the number of tests that can be played is the length of the summer, England tends to have the smallest window of current test playing countries with it being 4 months May-Aug. while countires like India have the longest Oct-Mar. England can play 7 home tests a year and regulary do, at a push you could increase that to 8 home tests, but you'd have to drop the number of ODI's/T20's played and have limited room for other tournaments like the 50 over WC that drags on about 2 weeks to longer than it should.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (January 15, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

An idea that was long overdue.

Posted by flickspin on (January 15, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

rather than a test championship

i rather see a team of the decade

every 10 years each team must play 80 test minimum,hopefully over 10 years each nation has play roughly a even amount of test

5 points for a out right win, 4 points for a innings win, 3 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 point for a lose in a game that goes to day 5 and has 4 innings.

maybe the points system dosent reward draws in a close series but its just a suggestion,i think it would encourage teams to go for the win.

maybe the ashes is played every 3 years instead of every 2 years

and 5 extra points for a series win.

add up all the points over a decade and thier you have the team of the decade.

i would like more minnows included in test cricket,with investment they will only improve year after year.

if you watch test match cricket most nations the crowds are empty, maybe by adding the team of the decade you might get crowds

i would add Holland,Ireland,Afghanistan,Namibia and Kenya to test cricket

Posted by drewieoz on (January 15, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

Now for this idea to work, the following must happen, two tiers of six, with WTC every four years starting in 2017 as planned, 2 semi finals, top 4, 2 playoffs (5 v 8), (6 v 7), following this over a 3.5-4yr period each tier plays home & away in a mim 3 match series, with tier 1, top 4 playoff for WTC, and teams 5 & 6 playoff against the top 2 teams of tier 2, so if that results in say England in tier 1 & Australia in Tier 2, so it means the ashes will not be play so what.

Tier 3 could also be included, but also matches would be first class only.

This format can be used in Mens & Womens T20 & ODI cricket as will.

This will encourage the growth of the sport

Posted by Dhoni48 on (January 15, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

Oh my goodness!An outstanding idea has crept into the minds of ICC isn't it.I really want teams like Ireland and Afghanisthan to play test cricket and that could happen with this format.It will make the contests more interesting and I just wish ICC implements this format as soon as possible

Posted by Shehan_W on (January 15, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

Two-tiers will definitely end test cricket format. Current administrators are making too many changes but seems to be not satisfied with any of those changes after implementing them. Day night test cricket, two new balls in ODIs, pink balls, power plays, super subs, DRS etc. Too many changes to a game only 10 to 12 countries take as a serious sport. This move will demean the great records of test cricket in the past and will create the biggest mess in the history of test cricket.

Posted by Vanilla_Slice on (January 15, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

If the BCCI in any way believe it will interfere with the IPL, they will block it so it's a moot point

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

A very good idea which could save Test Cricket and also promote it in other countries.

There should be 2 divisions of 6 teams each. The teams in the same division need to play atleast 3 Tests per series against each other and against a team from other division 1-2 Tests.

At the end of every 4 years, the bottom 2 teams of Division 1 play the top 2 teams of Division 2 in plays-off series home and away. The winner will get promoted to Division 1.

Similarly, the bottom 2 teams of Division 2 will play the top 2 teams of WCL and the winner goes to Division 2.

~ The ODI World Cup should have 16 teams, which would help improve associate teams.

~ The T20 World Cup should have atleast 20 teams, considering the short length of matches. They can have 4 groups of 5 teams each. The top 2 from each group qualify for Super-8 which would have 2 groups of 4. The top 2 teams from each group then play the play-offs.

Posted by scottyg on (January 15, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

what should be done is split the test sides in 2 groups- a top tier and a bottom tier- with 6 teams each. Each side should then play all the side in it's group in 3 match test series twice over a four year period, and 3 match series against countries from the other group over the 4 year period. This equates to 16 series over a 4 year period, which is 2 test series home and away in a year. obviously after this 4 year period you would promote 2 countries from the bottom tier to the top tier. This would keep every test side playing each other, and still allow for more even series to be played more regularly

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 9:30 GMT)

no disadvantage then pak should play their home games in pakistan and i expect the teams to travel to pakistan and not dubai similarly teams should go to afghanistan teams like england australia should travel to zimbabawe

Posted by sweetspot on (January 15, 2014, 9:29 GMT)

Michael Vaughan has got this one wrong! More cricketers are likely to go towards opportunities like the IPL, not less.

Where is he going to get the "finance" for the "financial incentives" he talks about? No way the BCCI will gift its pot of gold for the betterment of Test cricket in which it sees no future.

Test cricket is coming to its demise, people, make no mistake about it. To people like "Attacking" who are keen to blame India, too bad cars replaced bullock carts.

Test cricket was in non-India control for about a century. Who is to blame for the game not spreading all over the globe? It doesn't stand a chance against all the other sports in the world. T20 is cricket's great saviour. Accept it.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 9:29 GMT)

Well, talking of giving chance to associate members to enter in the highest level is encouraging but how would ICC make it sure that the full members like Pakistan would get equal number of tests as Australia, England and other full members are getting in a Cricketing calender year?

Isn't injustice that we are getting Test series of 2 matches and others are playing 5 and 7 tests series?

Posted by xylofon on (January 15, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

Test cricket is dead because its boring to watch. Unless they come up with an idea of changes in the field to make it more entertaining they can make all the changes in the world without saving the format. I wish Pakistan would stop playing tests.

Posted by fairfan70 on (January 15, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

@ThilankaK, what a dumb comment to make! How will India slip to second division by that? They play majority of the matches against top teams (Australia for example) anyway. And how will Sangakkara and Mahela improve their averages? In fact they will fare worse once they start playing more matches abroad against top teams.

@sameer_warun, remove Indian administration from ICC? ICC does not contain "Indian Administration". If you meant eliminating the Indian say in the sport, bear in mind that sport is funded 80% from India. If the Indian stakes are reduced, funds for the sport will dry up quickly and we will be back to the days when cricketers were paid nominally. Instead of taking a swipe at the board (which we know has its own issues), offer constructive comments to improve the game!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

@Grant Robertson, the problem with doing that is how do you make that happen with 10 test teams, 12 if you include Ireland and Afhganistan, in a 4 year window, the more you expand the number of teams the bigger the window needs to get in order to accomodate home and away series against all nations.

as it is teams fortunes can turn around in 4 year cycle imagine how bad it would be on a 6-7 year cycle.

Posted by drnaveed on (January 15, 2014, 9:21 GMT)

the ICC should first equally divide the number of test matches played per year among all the test playing Countries. last year some Countries played 12 test matches where as some other teams played 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 test matches. so all teams should be given equal opportunities to show their performances.

Posted by AlSmug on (January 15, 2014, 9:21 GMT)

# old mate hom posts he bets no one watches all the balls bowled in test cricket , your bet ha already been fizzed , I started in 96, brought fridge into my lounge room i was age 18, went to the toilet in advertisements, and well... give or take the od match i still aim to atleast do that once a summer, i am a true cricket fan, the pinnacle of sport is test cricket , a battle of skill , tightness of the mind and cunning , attributes that go far beyond the game. I also like t20 and odi, its gr8 fun, but if i had to chose it would be test cricket all the way. The problem with gen y majority are addhd , the concentration of an unwise monkey the tiems they are a changing no doubt but administrators need to have test cricket as the ULTIMATE , financially they can they need to look at the ashes just gone , big revenue,

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 9:20 GMT)

@Great_Chucker... The level of stupidity of your comment is surely immeasurable by naming Pakistan along with those minnows... better come up with something against Pakistan which would atleast make some sense instead of just making a fool of yourself. Cheers!

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 15, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

I prefer 6 in the top division and 6 in the bottom division.

Right now there is a clear top 6 who are not much different to each other - Australia, South Africa, England, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are all roughly equal to each other and home or away are a good chance of beating each other.

The next 6 win occasionally against the top 6 but not regularly - West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe +2 others. The other 2, obviously, would be Ireland and Afghanistan at the moment.

If in the future this changes, then we can change which teams are considered to be "test" and which are considered to be "elite test" standard.

Posted by cryptq1 on (January 15, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

Amazing. Often hear the argument that you cannot give test status to all as it will undermine the stats, now they propose a system that will do exactly that. What must happen is that the ICC must become a governing body and all countries should be regarded as members. Period. The system at the moment exists only to protect the interests of the few.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

@HatsforBats, the problem is with the local board rather than the ICC as they are the ones that arrange the series to be played and when, the cycle has had a bit of a hit with the rescheduling of the ashes into a different cycle, while that could have been managed better we are where we are, in the end England and aus only play each other every home at home every 4 years, and after 2015 thats how it will settle down.

As an england fan i do agree we need to see more of the WI's/NZ etc but the former is no longer a crowd puller. the onyl teams that seem to pull in crowds in the UK are Aus, India, and to some extent SA and Pak the teams generally play in half empty stadiums.

@Dan Casey, interesting suggestion, though I would rather see 4 tests, 3 ODI's and 2 T20's, with the possibility of the ODI's and T20's being triangular series with the two home visitors.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 15, 2014, 9:08 GMT)

However there is a great advantage to teams who play 4/ 5 tests series because the poor team, mostly can bounce back in the 4/5 test giving additioal advantage.Therefore in those 4/5 series, no point should be given after the third test so rules are fair by every nation.The 4th /5th test should be played for no point.Also all the test series should be obligatory 3 test series.

Posted by Harlequin. on (January 15, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

That sounds like a far too sensible idea; incentives for players, incentives for national cricket boards, fairness to highly performing associate teams, context to test matches, a narrative to connect separate test series. I wonder who will mess it all up? Not sure, but my guess is that financial greed will have something to do with it.

Posted by AJ8147 on (January 15, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

Why would BD and ZIM be on the precipice if there is a "no disadvantage" condition?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

I can't see the nations ranked at the lower end of the ladder liking this at all:

1) It deprives them of their biggest incomes e.g the two biggest earners for NZ are England and India inbound tours because of the TV rights

2) It introduces a difference in standard of test cricket - can batsmen who average 65 or 70 against but only ever play against the weaker teams ever be considered greats if they never play against the top teams?

The only way to make Test cricket truly meaningful is to have a World Championship with semi final series and final series

Posted by HatsforBats on (January 15, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

A two-tiered system (with promotion/relegation) has been my preferred system for a test championship for some time. The addition of the associate nations is a worthy idea, it will give the lower ranked sides a more level playing field and help promote the game amongst the associate countries. Whatever system is chosen (if it ever goes ahead) will never please everyone, but we need to introduce more relevancy into the test merry-go-round (I would also like to see all ODI contests used as qualification for world cups).

Personally, as an Australian fan, I find the constant series against India & England tiresome. I want to see to the full spectrum of test cricket; tours against WI, Pakistan, NZ, & SL need to come more frequently (very disappointed the Pakistan tour has been reduced).

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:57 GMT)

Sub standard teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have undermined the credibility of Test cricket for too long. They distort Test records, get few spectators and have no longer form of the game domestic structure to underpin their Test status. To add to their number would be preposterous. If they want to play five day matches (why would they ?) let Afghanistan and Ireland do so but don't pretend that they are Test matches. If you want to kill off the ailing Test match format for good a sure way to commit would be to destroy its uniqueness by lowering standards in this way.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

certainly an idea that requires a lot of careful thinking, but it was inevitable as the FTP with 10 teams was already becoming difficult to manage. teams should be able to play four 3-3-3 series per year, two home, two away (three Tests, three ODIs and three T20s). three's a good number y'know... two-Test series are ridiculous. the Ashes could have an exception (to play five Tests), and otherwise we're good to go :)

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 8:54 GMT)

@Siva_Bala75, actually with 8 teams that breaks down to 14 series being played by a single team, at 4 series per year the cycle would be 3.5 years long, allowing for a test championship to be played as well as a play off, with 6 teams that would be a 10 test series, so a 2.5 year cycle with the test champs/playoffs being played at the end of this.

Posted by Great_Chucker on (January 15, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

@ThilankaK But nobody would take your records seriously if you score heavily against Nepal,Uae,China,BD or even Pak...anyway Sangas and Mahela have already inflated records due to playing in flat Colombo tracks

Posted by ajithabey on (January 15, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

I think it is a good move by the ICC and provides an incentive to all countries vying for top honours. The ICC should endeavor to encourage all countries to take cricket to all corners of the world to make it a truly global sport instead of confining to a minority of nations.Football on the other hand enjoys much popularity and sponsorship as a global sport.

Posted by gamespplplay on (January 15, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

oh dear, no! WTC is and was a stupid idea in the first place. The charm and soul of test cricket is bilateral series. Instead, pls consider doing away with a 2 test series. there should be at least 3 tests in a series. a two tier system is just a change of label to the current system, except that no test playing nation gets 'relegated'. Tiering will have to be in the formats - bring ODi's closer to tests then to t20's. ie remove bowling quotas.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

not an easy thing to do, World Test championship sound good but it really needed a big exercise & lot of days. It will be better if we select neutral venues & play it in a knock out style based on ICC test ranking. We just need 4 venues initially for such a tournament: 1. Lord's 2. MCC 3. Eden Garden 4. Johannesburg

SF & finals will be played on the grounds of eliminated teams. thus we can wrap up the whole tournament in 15 days + 4-5 days gap in between 2 tests.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

It will be a good step I could suggest two tiers of 7 teams where where 6th and 7th team to face relegation team to play 12 matches in an year 24 matches on the course of 2 years

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

It is a good idea if implemented. It will make the test playing nations realize the importance of test cricket and also the associates will have a new target of qualification for the tests which is as valuable as the world cup's qualification. Lets hope the test playing nations don't just think about themselves and also think about the game's development in other nations as well

Posted by anoopshameed on (January 15, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

The proposal has both merits and demerits. One of the merits is it increases the standard of games in general, and hope will reduce the number of lopsided games. But, the biggest advantage is that both Ireland and Afghanistan, two of the best associates, will be rushed into Test Cricket, which if left as how it is, might take years to achieve. The demerits is that some of the teams which end up on different tiers may never play against each other for a long time! Suppose, India and West Indies, are on separate tiers and does not progress or relegate to be in the same, a player from either side may end up not playing a single match against them during his career! This, I think is a serious issue which to a great extent cancels out the merits! Maybe, instead of having two tiers we should have two groups, such that the teams in the same group will play at least 3 to 5 tests per series, and teams in different groups will play series of 1 to 2 tests per series-thus increasing the quality.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 15, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

In order to do this they need to reform the way the points are calculated and move away from the statistical situation that they have currently.

Ideally each 'division' would be 8 test teams, which in a 4 year cycle would allow for both home and away series and a window for a Test championship. The simplest solution is to say that all series in the top flight must be a minimum of 3 tests per series to qualify for points, with 2 points for a Test win and a bonus of 2 points for a series win.

In order to prevent 'fixing' of the rankings only the first home and away series against each team in each cycle is counted in the points total.

There also needs to be safe guards put in place for historically important series like the Ashes, India vs Pak, etc should either team fall out of the top flight.

At the end of each cycle the Top 2 lower league teams enter a 3 test home and away play off with the bottom two top flight teams the winners get promoted.

Posted by ThilankaK on (January 15, 2014, 8:34 GMT)

This is good news for team like SL because if this happen they will get 8 to 10 matches for a year then players like sangakkara can easily beat Sachin's record & I'm pretty sure India will slip to division 2 .

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

A very good move. Hope this does happen.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

@Syed...Though it sounds exciting, considering the fact that Football tournaments like BPL, Spanish League, etc are played within country. Hence commutation (and time lost, fatigue) is way less compared to Cricketing nations travelling all around the world. Meeting all 9 teams at least two times in a year is next to impossible.

Posted by sameer_warun on (January 15, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

@ ICC , please remove this Indian administration from ICC for sake of Cricket because they're destroying this great sport .

Posted by LongLiveTestCricket on (January 15, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

It is very relevant to have this idea as we are already witnessing many sides not getting enough Test matches due to commercial reasons. Many countries are almost not playing Tests at all with ZIM, Bangladesh.Multiple series have been cut down to 2 Tests to accommodate ODIs & T20s.Fans were left fuming as PAK-SA, SA-Ind home and away, NZ-Ind series were played for just 2 Tests. PAK visited WI for only ODI & T20 meaningless tour and haven't visited AUS since 2009 and further AUS are visiting for away series again for 2 Tests. AUS have not hosted a long series for some time except for the ones against ENG and IND. NZ have been playing short series in almost all of the countries. Atleast glad that ENG are playing 5 tests in 2014 against Ind but still fans are missing out on those classy battles in Tests due to the shortsightedness of the ICC and multiple cricket boards.

Posted by wc1992 on (January 15, 2014, 8:21 GMT)

i wounder what happen when one of the big team drop out of top rank lol

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

If the ICC bring this in then this will be a revolutionary step forward for International cricket. The details that I would bring in are as follows: (1) TWO tiers of SIX teams, playing four tests (two home, two away) over 24 month period, starting April 2015 (after 2015 ODI World Cup), with 2013 ICup finalists (Ireland & Afgan) getting temp full status. (2) In April 2017, top two teams qualify for "Test World Cup" series played in country that finishes top of tier A. Bottom of Tier A swops with Top of Tier B. ICup winner joins tier B with temp full status, replacing lowest ranked temp full status team, unless that team came fourth or higher in Tier B, in which case Tier B now has seven teams. (3) After April 2015: Test, ODI & T20I matches should be either "warm ups" or "competition", with warm up matches occuring against other Tier teams and competition counting towards ONE ranking for all three formats which decides relegation.

Posted by Nuxxy on (January 15, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

It has some merit, although all the boards want a piece of that India pie. But the key for this to be successful is to extend it beyond the big 8. This is the best way to give Ireland and other a chance to step up to the top. They play 4-day competitions - winner of that gets a chance to step up to 2nd division.

Posted by twistedseatbelt on (January 15, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

Okay this could end up being slightly odd, as teams like India would play all their home matches against Division 1 teams only and all their away matches against Division 2 teams only (for obvious reasons)

Posted by nzcricket174 on (January 15, 2014, 8:15 GMT)

Very good idea. only thing that will stink is 2nd division teams will likely play each other more often and not attract big crowds, especially if England, India and Australia aren't coming to their shores.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 15, 2014, 8:14 GMT)

This move has been long overdue. It gives the best Associates a route to Test cricket and it gives the smaller Test-playing nations an incentive to improve. It also makes Test series for mid-table sides a matter of life and death.

However, it is a tacit confession by the ICC that they have lost control of cricket. If there is an FTP that is being systematically flouted and ignored and they cannot do anything about it, what use is it, or are they? When England threatened to cancel a series against Zimbabwe a few years ago, the ECB was threatened with bankruptcy by the ICC (Zim withdrew from Test cricket in the nick of time to avoid a showdown), yet there is one Board that has cancelled every scheduled tour by Bangladesh with impunity.

Incidentally, which sides played most Tests last year? England and Australia played 14, followed by New Zealand, with 12 and South Africa, 9. The sides that play the largest number of Tests are not always the obvious ones.

Posted by Siva_Bala75 on (January 15, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

The top tier should have only 5 or max 6 teams, then it makes some sense. If you have 8 there, then no point.

Posted by Attacking on (January 15, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

India is destroying this once great sport.

Posted by smudgeon on (January 15, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

Hmmm...this could be a good idea, and I know I have been in favour of it previously. But, we already have a tiered system in a way: Eng-India-Aus in one camp, then the rest. SA, SL and Pakistan seem to sort of float in an area in-between, and then NZ-Zimbabwe-WI-Bangladesh play out some of the most entertaining stuff between themselves (IMHO). I love the idea of giving Afghanistan and Ireland a way to achieve Test status through the merits of their performances. Just a pity that the minute one of Eng-Ind-Aus come close to relegation, the whole thing will fall in a heap - there's too much revenue to lose for the boards, and I can't imagine that sponsors or (for example) Channel 9 negotiated TV rights with the idea that Aus might play in the bottom tier for four years...or lose Test status altogether. Ratings disaster. It obviously adds meaning and provides incentive for the players & teams, but without money from sponsors and TV, we will have neither.

Posted by jashan83 on (January 15, 2014, 8:08 GMT)

It is a great decision by ICC. On one side it will provide a clear pathway to upcoming teams like Ireland and Afghanistan to play Test Matches and on the other side it will force the teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, West Indies and even other full members to take Test Match more seriously. Imagine if in a series of West Indies vs Australia, West Indies need to win 1 test to stay in division 1, then they will give their best and on the other side Australia will give their best to come top of the rankings. This will put a meaning to the series. On the other hand imagine Bangladesh playing a test series where a victory can get them into Div 1, then they will be fighting super hard to get into Div 1. It opens so many interesting possibilities. I hope it happens soon

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

An encouraging news for the development of cricket. Here's an idea of how ICC could try and globalize the game:

Two tiers of 8 teams seems the best option for this to be applied, with 6 A&A nations joining the bottom 2 full members in the second tier. At the end of a four year cycle, top two teams from the second tier will get promoted at the expense of bottom two teams of the top tier.

Also, at least all the nations to qualify for the upcoming WCL Championship (8 teams) should get ODI status, which can later be expanded to upto 6 other teams, making ODIs three-tier with 8 teams each. The promotion/relegation quota should be two each for each tier.

Lastly, ODI and T20 World Cups should have a minimum of 16 and 32 nations each.

Posted by Jigar_Shah on (January 15, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

How about this novel idea? Screw the broadcasters. ICC To have WTC but not teelecast it. Instead if you want to watch it - come to the ground. Hold the matches in famous venues of the world over period of 4 months and I can bet my bottom dollar that people will pay ANYTHING to come and watch these games as it will not be on TV. ICC has enough money to fund such an operation and still make money out of Gate Receipts. I am sure the advertisers will line up to be there for this event.

Read Ed Smith's article - it is awesome. He really hit a six by saying that Media and Broadcasters control Cricket now - instead of being the facilitators.


Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

I wish ICC should convert test cricket into a yearly championship, as what we see in soccer like english premier league etc, in which teams play whole year. It will improve the fighting spirit of test cricket

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

personally i think T20 is best for audience short and exciting but these test matches are just a waste of time where people have to watch the match for five days and i bet there is no one on earth who would watch every single ball of a test match and it gets drawn at the end

Posted by AlSmug on (January 15, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

ToTier test cricket merit in that for sure, expanding the game of test cricket merit for sure, reducing current test matches with established sides, tighten your fragile little minds ICC, tightening of the mind priceless for everything else there is master card

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

Finally common sense is prevailing....been saying this for a very very very long time.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

very good decision to save test matches and to include ireland and afghanistan icc must include second tier league relegation to icc intercontinental cup and top 2 teams in icc cup promote to secon-tier league

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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